A Checking Account for Starting Over

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Maybe your life was on the right track before the economy tanked and sent your finances spiraling. Putting your life back together after a financial crisis can be an outright nightmare. Those around you judge you, and you have to prove yourself to the banks again. It doesn’t seem fair, but nobody ever said life would be. So how do you find the right checking account for starting over? It is difficult, but it can be done. Some of it depends on your situation. One you are either to broke to afford a checking account and all of the fees associated with maintaining one, or you had one that over time has become a disaster. Either of these two situations have a potential of being repaired with the right information. So let’s look at the first scenario.

I Can’t Afford a Checking Account!

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Sometimes the fees associated with a checking account will deplete your funds if you find yourself outside of the required minimum balance. There are other hidden fees that rack up the cost of maintaining a checking account especially if you are self employed and only get paid occasionally. Four of the major banks have done away with free checking which make it even harder to get a checking account if you can’t pay the maintenance fees, so what do you do? First, search online for those that still do have free checking. There are still some banking institutions left that will offer this service. Furthermore, if you live in one of these seven states, then you are in luck. These states – Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont – have state laws that mandate a Lifeline Checking and Savings Account for the low-income population. The banks do not set the terms and conditions of these account, the state does. With a lifeline checking account fees are either nominal or non-existant, even the ATM usage can be free. Different states have different requirement, so make sure that you know any amount that will be charged. These accounts have limited services and limited check writing quotas, but this is a great way to get back into banking. When you consider the current gas prices and the cost of check cashing services you will see that this the least expensive way to go.

No One will Give Me a Checking Account!

If you had a checking account in the past and screwed it up due to a financial hardship or irresponsibility, then you can get a Second Chance Checking account. This type of account gives you a second chance to have a bank account. All you need to do is check around on the Internet and search second chance checking and you will find many sites with a free list of banks for each state that offers this service. Usually the monthly maintenance fee for these accounts are relatively low. You can get a bank debit card, but you may or may not have check writing capabilities. Either way this is a great place to start. Once you have obtained this type of account be very responsible with it. It will be next to impossible to get a third chance.

Just to let you know, your checking account history is kept on file at chexsystems. It is similar to a credit check, however, it only list negative information about you. This information stays on file for a total of five years even if it is corrected. You are allowed one free report a year, so go to the website and get yours today. I just hope that this information was helpful in some way.

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A Checking Account for Starting Over, Seekyt
General Contributor
Janice is a writer from Chicago, IL. She created the "simple living as told by me" newsletter with more than 12,000 subscribers about Living Better and is a founder of Seekyt.