The Best Banks & Credit Unions in California That Offer Second Chance Bank Accounts

Editor's Choice

BBVA Online Checking

BBVA is one of the most well-known banks for California residents that are looking for a second chance bank account.

You can open this account with as little as $25 for your initial deposit.

Features and Benefits

  • Bad credit OK
  • Relaxed account opening requirements
  • Free ATM withdrawals on BBVA ATMs
  • Online and mobile banking facilities included
  • Customizable banking alerts
  • Available nationwide (except Alaska and Hawaii)
  • Member FDIC

Recommended For:

Right now, a free checking account at BBVA is the only trusted option for customers looking for a Second Chance Checking account with high approval rate and excellent features and conditions. Use this opportunity to rebuild your credit while having a bank account with no restrictions.

Local Banking Options

Following is the web's most comprehensive list of banks and credit unions in California that offer second chance banking and which may approve you for a bank account.

Please note that any unsuccessful attempt to open an account may have a negative impact on your credit history and score.

To avoid this, please check if there are any proven, top picked solutions are available in your area (listed above) or on our page with best non-ChexSystems banks and other banking alternatives.

See more: Comprehensive List of Non-ChexSystems Banks

This page is updated regularly, so please consider adding it to your bookmarks.

Alliance Credit Union Fresh Start Checking

Allied Healthcare Federal Credit Union Healthy Start Checking

Alta Vista Credit Union Opportunity Checking

American United Federal Credit Union FreshStart Checking

CoastHills (COOP) Second Chance Checking

E-Central Credit Union E-Builder Checking

Foothill Credit Union Rebound Checking

Heritage Community Credit Union 2nd Chance Checking

Kaiperm North Bay Federal Credit Union Fresh Start Checking

Kern Federal Credit Union Fresh Start Checking

Los Angeles Federal Credit Union Second Chance Checking

Mid Cities Credit Union Second Chance Checking

Premier America Credit Union Fresh Start Checking

Priority One Credit Union New Leaf Checking

Southland Credit Union Opportunity Checking

Ventura County Credit Union Second Chance Checking

California Coast Credit Union

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Special Notes:

Debt to reporting bank(s) must be paid and report should not indicate fraud.

Email from Bank:

We do have a Fresh Start Checking account available to those who qualify for membership depending on what has been reported to ChexSystems.

For example, we cannot open the Fresh Start Checking if you are reported for "monies owing" the other financial institution. We do have to verify membership eligibility to join the credit union, review your identification, as well as credit report and Chex Systems report to determine if a Fresh Start checking can be opened. Certain types of ChexSystems records and certain credit report information may prevent us from opening these accounts.

The Fresh Start Checking does have a $7.50 monthly service charge and can be established with a minimum $25 to open the account. In addition a $5 membership fee is required to join the credit union as well. This product is now available at any of our branch offices.

Types of Accounts Offered: Second chance checking

Learn more about California Coast Credit Union

1st United Services Credit Union

Form of Verification: Credit report

Special Notes:

Email from person that got an account:

I applied with 1st United Services Credit Union and was approved.

Email from Bank:

Thank you for your email. Experian Credit report is run on all account openings and ChexSystems is run on all FICO score under 600.

Types of Accounts Offered: Personal checking and savings

Learn more about 1st United Services Credit Union

U.S. Bank

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Special Notes:

It has been reported that if your report is 21/2 yrs or older, they will not even see it. If this is your situation you can apply online, if not, you would need to visit an “in store” branch.

Most US banks “in store” branches are giving accounts to most people on ChexSystems. These are regular accounts, not 2nd chance checking...as long as you do NOT owe US Bank money and you are not reported on your ChexSystems report for any kind of "fraudulent activity".

There are some branches that are still not using this policy so it might be a good idea to call a branch local to you and ask about their policy first before going in.

Some “in store” branches have signs that actually says “ChexSystems? no problem!”… yet others will not open accounts at all. People are approved everyday.

Types of Accounts Offered: Personal checking, savings and business accounts

Learn more about U.S. Bank

Bay Federal Credit Union

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Special Notes:

If your ChexSystems report is 3 or more yrs old and paid you can get an account. Report should not indicate fraud. Any member can get a savings.

Email from Bank:

You can open a savings account with us. If your ChexSystems record is not at least 3 years old, whether it is paid or not, you can not have a checking account.

Types of Accounts Offered: Personal checking and savings

Learn more about Bay Federal Credit Union

FSNB

Form of Verification: Credit report and ID

Special Notes:

You DO NOT have to be military to get an account.

FSNB is now open to anyone regardless of being in their location. Take advantage of this while you can. It may not last.

** FSNB now uses a credit report and many people have been turned down due to credit issues.

** They do not use ChexSystems or TeleCheck …most people are still being approved.

FSNB charges $1 fee for not using one of their ATM's, plus any 'foreign' ATMs.

You have to call them and ask for new accounts, telling them that you wish to open a new checking account ..an application will be mailed out to you.

Email from Bank:

We do offer Business Accounts, however you must be within 50 miles of one of our branches for us to offer these to you. The minimum deposit to open the account is $500.00.

Types of Accounts Offered: Personal checking and savings

Learn more about FSNB

Heritage Community Credit Union

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Special Notes:

An account designed specifically for members who may have been unable to qualify for a checking account in the past due to a ChexSystems record. For a low monthly fee, you can take advantage of the following checking features:

  • Free ATM access at over 28,000 CO-OP Network® locations*
  • Free ehccu-online banking and ehccupay-bill payment
  • Free eStatements
  • Free in-branch and telephone transactions
  • Low minimum opening balance
  • Visa® Check Card
  • Free 24-hour Priority Line-Telephone Account Access
  • .50% rate discount on vehicle loans with direct deposit into an HCCU checking account and automatic monthly payments
  • Complimentary "Financial Fitness" consultation

Types of Accounts Offered: Second chance checking

Learn more about Heritage Community Credit Union

Chevron Valley Credit Union

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Email from Bank:

If you have a Chex System record you can still have a savings account without an ATM card as long as you qualify for membership.

If you are wanting to establish a checking account, we would need to be provided with proof that you have paid your record in full. A manager will then need to review the information. It is solely up to their discretion as to whether or not we would be able to open the checking account for you.

Types of Accounts Offered: Personal checking and savings

Learn more about Chevron Valley Credit Union

Community Commerce Bank

Form of Verification: 2 forms of ID

Special Notes:

  • DO NOT USE CHEXSYSTEMS, TELECHECK, OR A CREDIT REPORT.
  • DO NOT OFFER CHECKING ACCOUNTS ONLY SAVINGS ACCOUNTS
  • These accounts do NOT come with an ATM card

Email from Bank:

We do not offer checking accounts. To open a savings account we require two forms of identification. Usually a driver's license and social security number.

Types of Accounts Offered: Savings only

Learn more about Community Commerce Bank

Antioch Community Federal Credit Union

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Special Notes:

ANYONE CAN GET A SAVINGS ACCOUNT THAT IS ELIGIBLE FOR MEMBERSHIP

Email from Bank:

If you are on ChexSystems, you would only be able to open a savings account with us and that has no ATM access.

Types of Accounts Offered: Personal checking and savings accounts

Learn more about Antioch Community Federal Credit Union

Silverado Credit Union

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Special Notes:

Report should not indicate fraud.

Email from Bank:

If you are in our field of membership you can join the credit union even if you have a chex-system history. You must live or work in Napa county in California or belong to an Adventist church in California to join. You would be allowed to open an account here and have a savings and checking account, but it is possible that you wouldn't be approved for an ATM card.

Types of Accounts Offered: Personal checking and savings

Learn more about Silverado Credit Union

United Health Credit Union

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Email from Bank:

You qualify for membership if you live or work in Burlingame or have family who are members of United Health Credit Union. We do open a savings account even if you have ChexSystems and we offer free assistance to get a "Renew Checking Account". This checking account is specific for people who may have a ChexSystems record and want to reinstate their checking privileges.

Types of Accounts Offered: Personal checking and savings accounts

Learn more about United Health Credit Union

Orange County's Credit Union

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Special Notes:

Anyone with a membership can get a savings and if report is paid and does not indicate fraud, you might be able to open a checking.

Email from Bank:

You may open a savings a savings account only. If you have a record but you do not owe any moneys to another financial institution, we may be able to offer a checking as well.

Types of Accounts Offered: Personal checking, savings and business accounts

Learn more about Orange County's Credit Union

Altura Credit Union

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Special Notes:

ChexSystems report must show as paid and only as NSF. Can not indicate fraud or account abuse for Trial checking account (2nd chance checking).

Email from Bank:

You may submit an application online or visit your local Altura Credit Union branch so we may run your information through. We do offer a trial checking for 6 months that has a fee of $20 a month and you have to stay in good standings with no negative balance, to people who have paid closures with ChexSystems. However if it is reported as account abuse we will not open the account. It must show as paid and it can only say "NSF" or "overdrafts". We will decline membership if any other reason is given. Thanks!

Types of Accounts Offered: Personal checking, savings and business accounts

Learn more about Altura Credit Union

Alta Vista Credit Union

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Email from Bank:

Yes, we have a checking account called Opportunity checking. It has a $20.00 a month service charge. Opening deposit is $100.00. You must have this account for 6 months with no negative activity and then we will convert it to one of our regular checking accounts. You will also be given a regular ATM card with a $65.00 a day limit for the 6 months.

When the account is converted we will give you a debit card with a $300.00 a day limit.

If you decide to join, we will need a valid form of ID with your current address on it. If it doesn't have your current address on it you must provide us with a current utility bill that shows your name and your current address. Please be sure to bring in the proof that the amount owed has been paid by whoever reported you to ChexSystems.

There is also a one time $5.00 membership fee due at time of opening, along with your opening deposit.

Types of Accounts Offered: Second chance checking

Learn more about Alta Vista Credit Union

First Northern Bank of Dixon

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Email from Bank:

We do use ChexSystems before opening new accounts, and you may open an account with us if you have had no more than three account closures due to account abuse or NSF in the last 12 months, and no fraud alerts. Also, if ChexSystems indicates no more than three or more banks have inquired within the last 90 days, some further processing may be required before we are able to open the account.

Types of Accounts Offered: Personal checking, savings and business accounts

Learn more about First Northern Bank of Dixon

San Mateo Credit Union

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Special Notes:

They use ChexSystems but anyone can get a savings only not a checking.

Email from Bank:

You may be able to open a regular savings and we do have an account call a new-start checking account. This account has to be opened in one of our branches only.

Types of Accounts Offered: Savings only if you are reported to ChexSystems

Learn more about San Mateo Credit Union

Coast Central Credit Union

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Special Notes:

See email below.

Email from Bank:

As long as the Chex report shows the full amount has been paid, we will still open an account if you've taken a short course with Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS). I believe it's only a two-hour course and is usually offered on the weekends. If you bring us the certificate given at the end of the class, it will override any paid report you have on ChexSystems.

For more information, your best bet would probably be to contact one of our New Accounts Representatives - there are two here at our Harrison Avenue location. They can be reached at (707) 445-8801, extension 342 (Sarah) or 341 (Kandis). They should have the most current info on CCCS courses and which one you'll need to take.

Types of Accounts Offered: Second chance checking

Learn more about Coast Central Credit Union

Southland Credit Union

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Special Notes:

They offer second chance checking.

Email from Bank:

The application would need to be reviewed because it really depends on the type of record. Usually, a Share Savings can be established if you have a record on ChexSystems, however you would have no ATM access or Shared Branch access.

If the record is at least a year old and you have paid any balance owed, you would be able to establish what's called an Opportunity Checking Account.

This account has a monthly service fee of $10 and the account needs to be established in person.

Types of Accounts Offered: Second chance checking

Learn more about Southland Credit Union

Bank of the West

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Special Notes:

The manager told me its called "Fresh Start". Your last entry into ChexSystems must be older than one year. Cannot say Fraud. $10 a month.

Types of Accounts Offered: Second chance checking

Learn more about Bank of the West

American First Credit Union

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Special Notes:

If you’ve been reported to ChexSystems, this may help you.. As long as you do not owe checking funds to another financial institution and there is no fraud involved, you may qualify. Here's how it works:

1. Go to Balance and click on "Checking Account Management" to take the online course on “Managing your Checking Account.”

2. Bring in (or mail) your certificate of completion, the $25 processing fee, plus an opening deposit of $50 or more, and we’ll open your Second Chance checking account.

3. If your account remains in good standing for six months, it will automatically be converted to Total Access checking.

Types of Accounts Offered: Second chance checking

Learn more about American First Credit Union

CoastHills Credit Union

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Special Notes:

  • 2nd Chance Checking
  • Low $10 Monthly Service Fee
  • Free Overdraft Protection on Approved Line of Credit
  • Unlimited Check Writing
  • Opportunity to Convert to Our Other Great Checking Accounts After One Year with No Overdrawn Fees

Types of Accounts Offered: Second chance checking

Learn more about CoastHills Credit Union

Safe 1 Credit Union

Form of Verification: Deluxe Detect (some people reported to ChexSystems may NOT be reported to EWS and can get an account here)

Special Notes:

Deluxe Detect is part of EWS. If you have been reported to EWS, do not apply for this account.

Email from Bank:

We use Deluxe Detect. We do not do credit reports unless you apply for a loan.

Types of Accounts Offered: Personal checking and savings accounts

Learn more about Safe 1 Credit Union

Families and Schools Together Federal Credit Union

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Special Notes:

Debt to reporting bank must be paid and not show fraud for the best results.

Email from Bank:

One may qualify for membership if they live work or worship in Kings County. When our potential member applies we do run them through ChexSystems. If one has been reported and owes a dollar amount we can offer a savings account with a minimum of $25.00 to open. If you still wish to open a checking we can offer our member a New Beginnings account.

Types of Accounts Offered: Savings and second chance checking

Learn more about Families and Schools Together Federal Credit Union

Credit Union of Southern California

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Email from Bank:

I encourage you to submit a Membership application. In some cases we are able to make exceptions. I hope this helps!

Thank you!

Types of Accounts Offered: Personal checking, savings and business accounts

Learn more about Credit Union of Southern California

Schools Financial Credit Union

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Email from Bank:

In the past we would not open accounts if you had been reported to ChexSystems but that has changed The City of Sacramento and Schools are working together to help low- and middle-income Californians establish banking accounts, build a credit history and gain access to lower-cost sources of credit.

This program allows applicants with a ChexSystems decline score eligibility for membership. Applicants with ChexSystems records less than a year old are required to complete financial literacy courses and show proof of completion of the BALANCE Financial Fitness program. If you are interest in opening an account please visit any Schools location.

Types of Accounts Offered: Second chance checking

Learn more about Schools Financial Credit Union

Federal Employees West Federal Credit Union

Form of Verification: TeleCheck

Special Notes:

They do NOT use ChexSystems but you must be eligible to join.

Email from Bank:

We currently use TeleCheck when opening accounts.

Types of Accounts Offered: Personal checking and savings

Learn more about Federal Employees West Federal Credit Union

Coulee Dam Federal Credit Union

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Special Notes:

You MUST be eligible for membership to get an account.

Types of Accounts Offered: Second chance checking

Learn more about Coulee Dam Federal Credit Union

Bank of the Sierra

Form of Verification: Proper ID

Special Notes:

If you apply online they will run ChexSystems but if you apply at a branch they will not use ChexSystems.

Email from Bank:

I called several locations today and they all explained to me the same exact thing

  1. they do not use chexsystems other than for identity purposes "sometimes"
  2. if you are reported to chexsystems it would not mean that you can't get an account anyhow
  3. they approve people on chexsystems all the time

Types of Accounts Offered: Personal checking, savings and business checking

Learn more about Bank of the Sierra

Central Valley Community Bank

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Special Notes:

If you qualify they will give you a form to go take the Get Into Checking class and then you can open the account once the class is completed. There is a $4.00 monthly fee. There is no debit card but it does come with checks and an ATM card.

Types of Accounts Offered: Second chance checking

Learn more about Central Valley Community Bank

United Security Bank

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Special Notes:

They do offer second chance checking. If the report is older than one year then you can open an account if it is less than one year then you must take a class. You must apply in person for this account and it is $100.00 to open it. This is for the Fresno locations ONLY.

Types of Accounts Offered: Second chance checking

Learn more about United Security Bank

Security First Bank

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Special Notes:

They do offer second chance checking No money can be owed to the reporting bank(s) and there is not checks but the account comes with an ATM card.

Types of Accounts Offered: Second chance checking

Learn more about Security First Bank

Premier Community Credit Union

Form of Verification: ChexSystems and a credit report

Email from Bank:

Yes, we do look into ChexSystems and we do run credit. But if you’re in ChexSystems and you have paid it off we have a Fresh Start Checking.

Types of Accounts Offered: Second chance checking

Learn more about Premier Community Credit Union

North County Credit Union

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Special Notes:

Fresh Start Checking Account for members who have had checking account management challenges in the past.

  • $100/month direct deposit requirement
  • No monthly minimum balance requirement
  • Free Internet Teller, TeleTeller and Text Banking Service
  • Optional e-statements $15/month service fee
  • $25 opening deposit requirement

Learn more about North County Credit Union

California Community Credit Union

Form of Verification: Credit report

Special Notes:

From person that got account:

California community credit union in Sacramento. They have 5 branches. opened an account for me. They don't run the ChexSystems just a formal credit report.

Email from Bank:

Thank you for considering CACCU for your new account. Once a new account application and agreement is completed with valid IDs we run credit as an additional method to verify your identity. It is also a tool we you to determine what services you qualify. Please call me if you have any additional questions. Thank you.

Types of Accounts Offered: Personal checking and savings

Learn more about California Community Credit Union

E-Central Credit Union

Form of Verification: ChexSystems

Email from Bank:

We use ChexSystems and we also run a credit report when opening a new account. Even if you have a record we might be able to open an account for you, we can determine what services we can offer you once we see the report.

Types of Accounts Offered: Personal checking savings and business checking

Learn more about E-Central Credit Union

Banks and Credit Unions That Offer Second Chance Banking by State

AlabamaLouisianaOklahoma
AlaskaMaineOregon
ArizonaMarylandPennsylvania
ArkansasMassachusettsRhode Island
CaliforniaMichiganSouth Carolina
ColoradoMinnesotaSouth Dakota
ConnecticutMississippiTennessee
DelawareMissouriTexas
District of ColumbiaMontanaUtah
FloridaNebraskaVermont
GeorgiaNevadaVirginia
HawaiiNew HampshireWashington
IdahoNew JerseyWest Virginia
IllinoisNew MexicoWisconsin
IndianaNew YorkWyoming
IowaNorth Carolina
KansasNorth Dakota
KentuckyOhio