Bank Reporting Agencies – What You Need to Know


Most people never give those signs at your bank or credit union a second thought; until it is too late. Which signs am I referring to? You know the ones that casually mention that they use ChexSystems or Early Warning Services to verify your banking history.

However, if you have had your checking account closed or been denied the ability to open a new checking account, then you know all too well who these companies are and the tremendous impact they can have on your life. Your ability to pay your bills and manage your finances just became severly limited.

Most people do not know anything about ChexSystems or Early Warning Services until it is too late. Other than seeing a sign on a door or near a cash register, these companies never bring a second thought to many consumers. However, if you have been denied the ability to open a checking account, then you know all too well who these companies are and the big impact they can have on your life and your ability to manage your finances. you will find it very difficult, if not impossible to get a checking account and often rely on cash or prepaid debit cards to manage your finances.

Once listed, you will remain in the ChexSystems database for a period of 5 years per occurence and Early Warning Services for a period of 7 years per occurence. Your chances of getting your listing removed (even if you can prove your innocence) from either one of these check reporting agencies is very slim and these companies are known for their lack of customer service when it comes to dealing with consumers that have been reported.

Fortunately, there are some banks and credit unions that offer second chance checking accounts. These accounts are special accounts that are designed to offer a second chance or fresh start to those who have had issues with managing their checking accounts in the past.

When opening a second chance account, your information will be verified through Early Warning Services and/or ChexSystems and as long as there is not any fraud listed and you meet the other requirements speficied by each bank or credit union, you should be approved for a checking account. Once approved, you will need to manage your account perfectly for 12-18 months before you are moved to a prime or preferred checking account.

It is important to remember that before you apply for any second chance account, you should ensure that all of your past due accounts have been made current and paid in full. They will not open an account if you owe a bank or credit union any money.

Once you have your new second chance checking account open, you will want to ensure you manage your finances perfectly and that you do not over draw your account. You want to avoid any bounced checks or debits and you do not want to get weighted down with expensive NSF fees. Not only will these mistakes be expensive, they will further damage your Early Warning Services and/or ChexSystems reports and many of the banks offering second chance checking will close your account as soon as you have a mistake.

Are you in need of a second chance account? Visit for a free directory of local banks and credit unions who may be willing to work with you.

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James is a financial expert who has contributed several business and finance related articles. His expertise and first-hand knowledge of economics makes his blogs and articles informative and helpful for those looking out for guidance and assistance in matters related to finance. He has an active schedule of TV and radio interviews He is co-host of the popular VT Radio show Jim and Gordie Show. latest-articles-buttonJim comes from an old military family dating back to the American Revolution. Dozens of Confederate ancestors fought for the South in the War Between the States. Uncles fought in WWII and Korea. His father was a WWII P-40 and later P-51 Mustang fighter pilot. Vietnam found several uncles serving, a cousin, and brother Wendell as a young Ranger officer. His mother was a WWII widow at 16, her first husband killed with all 580 aboard when the SS Paul Hamilton, an ammunition ship with 7000 tons of explosives aboard, was torpedoed off the coast of Algiers. He has been writing, speaking and doing public relations, television, consulting and now multimedia work for a variety of American heritage, historical, military, veterans and Intel platforms. Jim’s only film appearance was in the PBS Looking for Lincoln documentary with Prof. Henry Lewis Gates, and he has guest lectured at the Army Command and General Staff School at Fort Gordon. Currently he is working to take his extensive historical video archives on line to assist his affiliated organizations with their website multimedia efforts, such as the Military Order of World Wars, Atlanta, Sons of the American Revolution, Sons of Confederate Veterans , Assoc. for Intelligence Officers, the Navy League, Georgia Heritage Council, National Memorial Assoc.of Georgia.

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