Not being able to get a bank account can feel like a major setback. You may have defaulted on one in the past, and are now on the bank account “black list” and can’t get on anywhere. Fortunately, there are quite a few options out there that can provide a lot of help for people in your situation, no matter the reason you can’t get a normal account. Second chance bank accounts are becoming widely available, and there is also a way to get an account with a regular bank that we’ll discuss as well in this post.
Second chance accounts are similar to prepaid credit cards, but offer a full suite of options that you can’t get with the credit card. You are normally offered a card, checks, direct deposit, online banking, the ability to borrow money, and in some cases be able to improve your credit score. In order to get an account like this, all you need is to be a citizen of the US and have a valid Social Security card. There is no credit check, and they definitely don’t check and see if you’re blacklisted with the other banks! The application process is very simple, and you will be approved almost immediately. Check companies like Rush Card and Vision Premier to see what the most popular second chance accounts are.
In the case that you’re determined to get an account through a regular bank, you can start by opening up a savings account. Most banks will grant you a savings account since there is no risk to them when you don’t have checks or a debit card. Once you get the savings account up and running, do everything you can to keep it in good shape and eventually the bank will offer you a checking account as well. How long will it take? Anywhere between a few months and a few years. In the case you can’t wait that long, go with the other option discussed here.
Just because the banks say you can’t have an account doesn’t mean that you’re out of luck. There are options out there, and now that you know what they are you are well equipped to go and get a new account!