Best Second Chance Banks 2022

We compared fees, user reviews, accessibility, and more to find the best second-chance bank accounts.
Best overall
Chime-logo
Chime
3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9
$0.00 monthly fee
  • pro
    $0 min. opening deposit
  • pro
    Available in 50 states
  • pro
    Up to $200 in fee-free overdraft
Best customer reviews
Varo
3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6
$0.00 monthly fee
  • pro
    $0 min. opening deposit
  • pro
    Available in 50 states
  • pro
    No overdrafting
Best interest rate
Sofi-logo
SoFi
3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4
$0.00 monthly fee
  • pro
    $0 min. opening deposit
  • pro
    Available in 50 states
  • pro
    No overdrafting
Best bonus offers
GO2bank
3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4
$5.00 monthly fee (waivable)
  • pro
    $0 min. opening deposit
  • pro
    Available in 50 states
  • pro
    Up to $200 in overdraft protection
Best traditional bank
Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo
2.6 out of 5 stars
2.6
$5.00 monthly fee (waivable)
  • pro
    $25 min. opening deposit
  • pro
    Available in 36 states
  • pro
    No overdrafting

Data as of 8/3/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

We are committed to sharing unbiased reviews. Some of the links on our site are from our partners who compensate us. Read our editorial guidelines and advertising disclosure.

The bottom line: For most people, Chime’s totally free checking and savings accounts are the best second-chance banking options.

A spotty banking history will keep you from getting many bank accounts, but you can still qualify for some excellent bank accounts with great perks. We analyzed dozens of banks to find the best ones that either don’t check your Chexsystems report or don’t put much weight on it. We’ll tell you all about Chime―and our nine other picks―below.

Business vs. personal banking
Megaphone

All the bank accounts on our list are for personal use only―not business use. We haven’t found many second-chance business accounts. If you need one, your best bet is to start with online business bank accounts.

Best second-chance banks

Compare the best second-chance banks

Bank
Monthly service fee (checking)
Overdrafts permitted?
24/7 customer support?
Get an account
$0.00
Icon Yes  DarkYes (with no fees)
Icon Yes  DarkYes
$0.00
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon No  DarkNo
$0.00
Icon Yes  DarkYes (with no fees)
Icon No  DarkNo
$5.00 (waivable)
Icon Yes  DarkYes (with protection)
Icon Yes  DarkYes
$5.00 (waivable)
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon Yes  DarkYes

Data as of 8/3/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Chime: Best overall second-chance bank

Chime-logo
Chime
3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9

$0.00 monthly maintenance fee

  • Online bank
  • $0.00 opening deposit
  • 60,000 ATMs
  • Available in 50 states

Data as of 8/3/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Chime is our favorite second-chance bank for most business owners.

Chime offers both a checking account and savings account. Both accounts are free, meaning you don’t have to pay (or worry about waiving) a monthly maintenance fee.

Chime’s two accounts also come with plenty of perks. For instance, you can get up to $200 in fee-free overdraft with Chime checking. With Chime savings, you get a very nice 1% interest rate on your account balance. Chime even offers a secured credit card to help improve your personal credit score while you improve your banking history.

You’ll see similar features from quite a few of the banks on this list. But Chime also earns better reviews than most other banks (even if it doesn’t get perfect reviews). And it has some added benefits, like 24/7 customer support.

Chime’s biggest downside is simply that it doesn’t offer more bank account options or other banking products. And while we should note that you need to set up direct deposit to get Chime’s best features, that’s true of other banks listed here too.

In other words, Chime has excellent perks, few downsides, and no fees. That makes it a great bank all around―and the best second-chance bank account.

Pros
pro Fee-free checking and savings accounts
pro High savings APY
pro Secured credit-building credit card
Cons
con Middling customer reviews
con Limited banking products
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Varo: Best customer reviews

Varo
3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6

$0.00 monthly maintenance fee

  • Online bank
  • $0.00 opening deposit
  • 55,000 ATMs
  • Available in 50 states

Data as of 8/3/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Want the best-reviewed second-chance bank? Then let’s talk Varo.

Lots of banks get bad customer reviews. And when you need a second-chance bank account, you may not have the luxury of shopping around for a well-loved bank. Fortunately, you can get Varo, which earns consistently decent reviews across various platforms. We’ve seen plenty of praise for Varo’s excellent customer service, and customers seem to like perks like early direct deposit.

That said, Varo still doesn’t get perfect reviews. Like most online banks, it takes a while to clear mobile deposits and to transfer funds. So Varo isn’t the best for urgent banking needs. Varo also has limited support hours, which could make it hard to get ahold of help when you need it.

All the same, Varo earns the most positive customer reviews of any second-chance bank we’ve found, making it a solid banking option.

Pros
pro Very good customer reviews
pro No-fee checking account
pro Cashback debit card
Cons
con Limited support hours
con Few banking products

SoFi: Best interest rate

Sofi-logo
SoFi
3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4

$0.00 monthly maintenance fee

  • Online bank
  • $0.00 opening deposit
  • 55,000 ATMs
  • Available in 50 states

Data as of 8/3/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

SoFi offers checking and savings accounts. But unlike other banks that make you put money in savings, SoFi lets you earn interest on both accounts. Even better? SoFi earns one of the best interest rates we’ve found. You earn 1.8% APY (annual percentage yield) on both your checking and savings account balances. That’s a better rate than you’ll see from any traditional bank and most online banks.

Keep in mind, though, that you do have to set up direct deposit to earn that interest rate. Like other banks reviewed here, SoFi locks all its best features behind direct deposit. We should also mention that SoFi gets pretty mixed customer reviews. Some people love SoFi, while others really dislike it―though most of the complaints we saw were about SoFi’s personal loans rather than its bank accounts.

At any rate, it’s clear that SoFi offers the best interest rate you’ll find on a second-chance bank account―or even most normal bank accounts.

Pros
pro High account APY
pro Cash signup bonus
pro $50 overdraft coverage
Cons
con Mixed customer reviews
con Direct deposit-linked features

GO2bank: Best bonus offers

GO2bank
3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4

$5.00 monthly maintenance fee (waivable)

  • Online bank
  • $0.00 opening deposit
  • 55,000 ATMs
  • Available in 50 states

Data as of 8/3/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

GO2bank offers various ways to get cash bonuses in your checking account, like a small bonus the first time you use mobile deposit to cash a check. But our favorite bonus offer has to be its referral bonus. When you refer a friend and they open a new bank account with GO2bank, you both get $50. And you can repeat this over and over with different friends―letting you earn up to $1,500 per year for sharing something you like.

You may have noticed that GO2bank is the first bank on this list to charge a monthly maintenance fee. You can easily waive that fee by setting up direct deposit―but it’s still a little annoying that you have to worry about waiving it at all. And note that GO2bank gets pretty low customer reviews. Nothing worse than many other banks, sure, but low enough that you should be aware.

Still, if you end up liking GO2bank enough to share, you and your friends can get some nice cash rewards.

Pros
pro Bonuses for referrals, mobile deposits, and more
pro Up to $200 in overdraft protection
pro Secured credit card option
Cons
con Monthly maintenance fee
con Low customer reviews

Wells Fargo: Best traditional bank

Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo
2.6 out of 5 stars
2.6

$5.00 monthly maintenance fee

  • Traditional bank
  • $25.00 opening deposit
  • 40,000 ATMs
  • Available in 36 states

Data as of 8/3/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Wells Fargo is one of the few traditional banks that offers an explicit second-chance bank account. (Some of our honorable mentions have similar accounts, but only Wells Fargo calls it a second-chance account.) You get the accessibility of a second-chance account with the benefits of brick-and-mortar banking, like simple cash deposits, reliable customer service, and more.

As a traditional in-personal bank, though, Wells Fargo doesn’t operate in all states. So depending on where you live, you may need to find a different bank (like one of our honorable mentions). And note that Wells Fargo gets truly awful customer reviews. You’ve probably heard about some of its many scandals.

All the same, Wells Fargo’s clear second-chance checking account makes it a better option than other traditional banks for rebuilding your banking profile.

Pros
pro Brick-and-mortar branch locations
pro 24/7 customer support
pro Easy cash deposits at branches
Cons
con Negative customer reviews
con Service in only 36 states
Get a better business bank account

Want affordable banking with great perks? With BlueVine, you can get a fee-free business checking account―and you can even earn interest on account balances over $1,000.

Honorable mentions

If you didn’t find the best second-chance bank for you in our top five, then maybe one of our honorable mentions will work better. We’ve got some more online banks and traditional banking options to round out our list.

Honorable mention second-chance banks

Bank
Monthly service fee (checking)
Overdrafts permitted?
24/7 customer support?
Get an account
$0.00
Icon Yes  DarkYes (with no fees)
Icon No  DarkNo
$4.95
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon Yes  DarkYes
$0.00
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon No  DarkNo
$9.95
Icon Yes  DarkYes (with fees)
Icon No  DarkNo
$4.95
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon No  DarkNo

Data as of 8/4/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Current

$5.00 monthly maintenance fee (waivable)

  • Online bank
  • $0.00 opening deposit
  • 40,000 ATMs
  • Available in 50 states

Data as of 8/4/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Current is another online-only bank that works a lot like Chime, SoFi, and other banks we’ve already mentioned. It offers fee-free overdraft (up to $200), early direct deposit, and the other kinds of perks we’ve come to expect from online banks.

Current also offers a stunning 4% APY on savings―but that only applies to account balances up to $2,000. After that, you earn nothing. And like some other banks, Current gets pretty mixed reviews. Some people love it, others hate it.

Still, that excellent APY may make Current appealing―as long as you don’t plan for a large savings account balance.

TD Bank

TD Bank
TD Bank

$4.95 monthly maintenance fee

  • Traditional bank
  • $0.00 opening deposit
  • 700 ATMs
  • Available in 16 states

Data as of 8/4/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

TD Bank offers the TD Essential Banking checking account. It’s not specifically a second-chance bank account, but it’s definitely designed like one. You can’t use checks, for instance, and TD Bank keeps you from overdrafting your account whenever possible. With those safeguards, it’s likely TD Bank will approve you for an account even if you have a troubled banking history.

TD Essential Banking does have a (low) monthly fee, and it only gets waived for users from the ages of 13 to 17. So this account does cost more than most second-chance accounts featured here.

But if you like traditional banks and live in an area with TD Bank branches, then TD Essential Banking might offer the second chance you’re looking for.

Sable

Sable

$0.00 monthly maintenance fee

  • Online bank
  • $0.00 opening deposit
  • Over 1 million
  • Available in 50 states

Data as of 8/4/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

While it’s another online bank, Sable has a different focus than other online banks we’ve talked about. Sable wants to be a global bank, so you can apply for an account with your passport and visa instead of a social security number. Likewise, Sable promises great rates on international transfers. And you can use ATMs all across the world.

Sable has more limited customer support than most banks, which helps explain the many negative reviews we saw. While people like Sable a lot in theory, quite a few customers complain about long waits to get account access and say customer service is terrible.

Even so, if you live a globetrotting lifestyle, Sable’s second-chance bank account can help you bank all across the world.

Woodforest National Bank

Woodforest National Bank

$9.95 monthly maintenance fee

  • Traditional bank
  • $25.00 opening deposit
  • 8,500 ATMs
  • Available in 17 states

Data as of 8/4/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Woodforest National Bank is another traditional bank that has an explicit second-chance checking account. This account gives you more freedom than some other second-chance accounts, though. You can use checks with your checking account, for instance.

But Woodforest National Bank charges the highest monthly maintenance fee of any bank listed here, and you can’t waive it. Plus, Woodforest National Bank charges overdraft fees and an annoying account setup fee.

All the same, Woodforest National Bank’s clear second-chance account means it might approve you for checking when other banks won’t.

Bank of America

Bank of America
Bank of America

$4.95 monthly maintenance fee (waivable)

  • Traditional bank
  • $100.00 opening deposit
  • 17,000 ATMs
  • Available in 37 states

Data as of 8/4/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Bank of America offers a SafeBalance version of its Advantage checking account. Like other accounts we’ve discussed, this account keeps you from overdrafting. It also doesn’t let you use checks. The real advantage to Bank of America? It operates in 37 states―more than most other traditional banks.

Unless you’re under 25, you’ll have to pay a low monthly maintenance fee on this account. And to be clear, Bank of America doesn’t call this a second-chance bank account. But it meets the Go Bank standards we discussed above, which means you’re likely to get approved with even an imperfect banking history.

So for folks interested in traditional banking, Bank of America offers another second-chance checking option.

The takeaway

Chime has the best second-chance bank account for most people. It charges almost no fees, lets you overdraft without charging you, offers a great APY on savings, and has other great perks.

If you’d prefer a bank that has great reviews, give Varo a look. Or if a high interest rate matters most to you, SoFi has the best APY we’ve found. GO2bank has some sweet bonus offers that can earn you extra cash. And if you really prefer brick-and-mortar traditional banks, consider a second-chance checking account from Wells Fargo.

As you improve your banking report with a second-chance account, work on your credit report too with one of the best credit monitoring services.

Related content

Methodology

To find the best second-chance banks, we looked at dozens of banks to find which ones didn’t check ChexSystems at all, offered a second-chance bank account, or had an account that met Go Bank’s bank account standards. Then we analyzed those banks based on their banking fees, customer support, user reviews, and more.

Second chance checking 101

What is second-chance banking?

Second chance banking refers to bank accounts designed for people with a less-than-perfect banking history.

Most banks check your ChexSystems report, which you can think of like a credit report for your banking activity. So let’s say you bounced some checks or overdrafted your account a lot. Lots of banks will see that on your ChexSystems report and decide you can’t get a bank account—but second-chance banks will work with you anyway.

Second-chance bank accounts usually have some limitations. For example, you may not be able to overdraft your account at all, and you likely won’t get to use checks.

But thanks to the rise of online banks, you now have more second-chance bank account choices than ever before, meaning you can get better accounts with better perks.

Finding a second-chance bank account

While we’ve rounded up our favorite second-chance banks, we understand our picks won’t work for everyone. In that case, we recommend checking out Bank On’s list of certified bank accounts.

All these accounts comply with Bank On account standards that include low monthly fees, small minimum opening deposits, and no overdraft fees. And in most cases, participating banks will only reject you for a history of fraud, not for a less-than-perfect banking history.

With more than 200 accounts across all 50 states, you’re likely to find a second-chance bank listed on Bank On in your area.

Second chance bank FAQ

What banks do not use ChexSystems?

Lots of online banks—like Chime, SoFi, Varo, and GO2bank—don’t use ChexSystems. The vast majority of traditional banks, though, do use ChexSystems.

Which banks are second-chance banks?

Second chance banks include online banks like Chime, Varo, and SoFi. Some traditional banks, like Wells Fargo and Woodforest National Bank, also offer second-chance bank accounts.

Can you be denied a second-chance bank account?

Yes, you can be denied a second-chance bank account. Banks can deny you an account for all kinds of reasons. And especially if you have a history of fraud, you’re likely to get denied for even a second-chance checking account.

Chloe Goodshore
Written by
Chloe Goodshore
Chloe covers business financing and loans for Business.org. She has worked with many small businesses over the past 10 years, from video game stores to law firms. Those years watching frustrated business owners try to sift through their many options gave her a passion for breaking down complex business topics. She wants to help business owners spend less time agonizing over their businesses so they can spend more time running them.
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