Second Chance Checking Accounts — How Do They Work?


If you’ve been turned down for a checking account at your local bank, a second chance checking account might be the right option for you. Second chance accounts were created for people who cannot get standard checking accounts because of overdrafts, unpaid bank fees, credit problems, or a lack of deposit. 

Opening a second chance bank account gives you financial convenience and allows you to build a solid banking history. Learn more about second chance accounts and how to open one. Then discover additional financial tools that can help you.

Why Would You Need a Second Chance Checking Account?

If you need a second chance checking account, you’re far from alone. Each day, people sign up for these accounts so they can manage their finances and make purchases securely, While there are numerous reasons to sign up for a second chance account, four stand out.

Overdrafts or Unpaid Bank Fees

If you had excessive overdrafts or unpaid bank fees with your last checking account, the bank likely closed the account and filed a report with ChexSystems. ChexSystems is similar to a credit bureau. 

Negative items go on your file and impact your Consumer Score. Since the information stays on the report for five years, it takes a lot of time to improve your score.

Banks use the score to evaluate your risk. If you have a low Consumer Score, you’ll likely be passed over when you attempt to open a traditional checking account. While you can’t open a traditional account, you can open a second chance account, even if your report is full of unpaid fees.

Low or No Credit

Some banks run credit checks when consumers apply for checking accounts. Low or no credit can prevent people from opening accounts because these customers are considered higher risk. 

Even having too many recent inquiries on a credit report can lead to a denial when trying to open a bank account. Banks equate numerous inquiries with desperation, and desperation and banking can be a bad match. 

Fortunately, people can open second chance banking accounts regardless of their credit histories. After establishing a relationship with the financial institution, they can even begin to build or rebuild their credit.

Additional Forms of Identification

Opening a traditional bank account can be an overwhelming task. Many banks ask for two or more forms of identification, along with proof of address. You might even need to bring mail from your current location. If you don’t have all these items available now, you’ll have to wait to open a traditional bank account. That can put you in a bind when you need to cash your check or pay your bills.

Fortunately, second chance bank accounts are much easier to open. You just need to know your address, social security number, and date of birth to verify your identity.

Minimum Balance or Deposits

If you open an account at a standard bank or credit union, you’ll likely need to make a minimum deposit. 

The bank or credit union also might charge you a fee if your account balance dips below the minimum balance requirement. It’s hard for your money to work for you if you are constantly paying bank fees. 

How Can I Open a Checking Account?

Opening a second chance account is easy with MoneyLion. Follow some steps to download the MoneyLion App and open a RoarMoney Account.

  • Download the MoneyLion app from the Google Play or App Store.
  • Open a RoarMoney account, with no minimum balance required!
  • Add funds by linking your old bank account or visiting one of over 90,000 retail locations that offer GreenDot or by using our 0% APR Instacash advances.
  • Call 801-736-2453 to activate your virtual debit card.
  • Set up direct deposit or link government benefits if you choose to get paid up to 2 days earlier and potentially unlock higher Instacash.

Once you complete these steps, your bank account will be open and ready to use.

Taking Control of Your Finances

Opening a checking account is the first step in your financial journey. Your RoarMoney account allows you to set up direct deposits, get rewards, monitor your spending habits, get paid up to two days early, and more. Once you build a solid account history, you’ll be ready to add additional financial products, such as loans and investments. These extra options are available in the MoneyLion app, so you can take care of all of your financial needs in one place.  


No matter how well you manage your finances, you might end up in a situation where you need a little extra cash before payday. MoneyLion makes it easy with Instacash. Get up to $250 deposited into your account without interest, monthly fees, or credit checks.

Credit Builder Loans

Do you want to save money, get cash, and build your credit at the same time? The Credit Builder Plus membership is perfect for you. For $19.99 a month plus your loan payments, you can get up to $1,000 and membership benefits like credit monitoring.

MoneyLion reports your payments to the three credit bureaus, and most members raise their score by an average of 60 points within just 60 days.

Fully Managed Investing

You might think you aren’t ready to invest yet, but more than 90% of MoneyLion customers are first-time investors. 

You can join them by using MoneyLion’s fully managed investing tool to invest any amount at any time. Enjoy features that include auto investing and a personalized portfolio. There isn’t a minimum balance requirement, so there’s no reason to put it off any longer.

Make Your Money Work for You with MoneyLion

A MoneyLion account provides the change you need to get your finances on track and prepare for your future. Begin by opening a RoarMoney account and add direct deposit to unlock Instacash.

Use your account responsibly and then add extra features, such as fully managed investing and a Credit Builder Loan, to build your financial profile.

With MoneyLion’s help, you can strengthen your credit history, build a nest egg, and solidify your financial future.  

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