Second Chance Checking – Important Information for Un-Banked Americans
According to a recent report by the FDIC, there are almost 10 million American households without a banking account. A checking account is one of the basic neccessities needed to succefully manage your finances and if your here, you can identify wity this struggle. You may also be like many of these Americans without a checking account and still are not sure what you have done to have your application for a checking account denied.
Like many of us, you have never given ChexSystems or Early Warning Services a thought until you saw that sign on the door or register when writing a check and the thought at that time was probably like “whatever”. And like many of us, you never thought of either one of those companies again until it was too late and you were denied a bank account because of being listed in one or both of the databases.
Fortunately, there are some banks and credit unions that are willing to take a chance on the un-banked Americans by offering second chance checking accounts that can help consumers get back on track with managing their finances. While there are not many of these banks available, there is at least one bank in every state that offers second chance checking opportunities. If you are interested in finding a local bank or credit union in your area offering second chance accounts, you can visit mysecondchancebank.com for an update listing of second chance banks in each state.
So Who are ChexSystems and Early Warning Services?
These companies are credit reporting agencies that cater to the banking industry and provide a profile of consumers who have mismanaged their checking accounts.From simple mistakes such as bouncing a check to out right fraud, these companies report these incidents to help banks guard against scam and fraud artists. However, these companies are also listing many Americans who made a simple mistake and are now black listed from ever getting a bank account.
ChexSystems – the largest database and nearly every bank in America uses the services of ChexSystems. Once listed in, your information will remain for a period of five years per incident. Also, please know that ChexSystems is well known for their lack of customer service towards consumers.
Early Warning Services – formed through a partnership through several of the largest banks including Bank of America, BB&T and several others. Once listed in Early Warning Services, your information will be listed for seven years per incident.
While both companies claim to assist consumers with disputing information on their reports, both companies are also coming under scrutiny from consumer lawyers and federal officials, who say it is too challenging for consumers to get a copy of their report or remove inaccurate information, both of which are a requirement under federal law.
The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (C.F.P.B.) has received complaints about both companies and is currently investigating both companies to determine whether each are complying with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, a federal law meant to stop the flow of inaccurate consumer information on credit reports.
So How Did I Get Listed?
Unfortunately, a simple mistake such as bouncing a check has garnered you entry into the database and whether or not you have paid the mistake, some banks will still report you for the minor infraction. What is worse, is like some consumers, you may have been listed due an incorrect reporting made by a bank. And as you can tell, even the simple act of getting a copy of either report can be a daunting task.
So How do I Get Out?
Unfortunately, getting off the database(s) is not as easy as getting on. Neither company has an incentive (other than its the right thing to do) to help you get out of the database(s). Even if your listed due to an inaccuracy, there is nothing that says that they have to help you. The only thing they have to do is allow you to dispute the information listed about you and unless the laws change and get stricter and give them an “incentive”, they will more than likely not offer much more help than what they currently give.
So What do I do?
Well, you have two options. If you are 100% sure you are listed due to a mistake and you want to have the listing removed, your best bet is to have an attorney work with you on getting the information removed. If you cannot afford an attorney or are sure the listed information is correct, your best option is to simply find a local bank or credit union that offers second chance checking accounts. We recommend that you check out mysecondchancebank.com for help locating a second chance bank near you. Visit mysecondchancebank.com