You might have difficultly opening a new bank account if you've had problems with accounts in the past. Many banks and credit unions use ChexSystems, a database of account holders who have mishandled bank accounts. A bank may report you to ChexSystems for various reasons, including involuntary account closure because of frequent overdrafts or a negative balance. Reports stay on file with ChexSystems for up to five years. If you've been reported to ChexSystems, you might get a new account at a bank that doesn't use the service or offers "second chance" accounts for people who've been reported.
Pay off the negative items on your ChexSystems report, if possible. Keep receipts to show the new bank when you apply for an account. Your old bank does not have remove negative entries from your report after you pay, but another bank may require you pay the items before getting a new account. Visit the official website of ChexSystems (see Resources) to order your report and identify you must pay to clear items.
Locate at least three banks and two credit unions near you. Write down the names and customer contact phone numbers for each institution.
Call each bank and credit union. Tell the representative that you were reported to ChexSystems at one point. Ask if the bank or credit union will still allow you to open an account.
Ask the representative about the account options if they will let you open an account. Ask about any account restrictions, fees and minimum opening deposit requirements. Some second chance accounts have fees and deposit requirements. Write down the information about the accounts from each bank and credit union.
Review your account options. Select the account that has the most favorable terms to you. For example, one bank requires a minimum deposit and balance of $200, but the credit union only requires $25. You would go with the credit union if you can't afford the $200 or don't think you can keep $200 in the account at all times.
An area nonprofit credit counseling agency may have a list of local banks and credit unions with second chance account options.
Use your new account responsibility. Getting a new account will become even more difficult if you're reported to ChexSystems again.