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What to Do If You Can't Open a Bank Account

You might think that anyone can open a bank account, but you actually have to apply for a bank account at all financial institutions. You can be denied an account if you're in debt to another bank because of an overdrawn account or overdraw your account too often. Mistakes happen, and sometimes those mistakes can be costly. Without a bank account, prepaid cards, money orders and check cashing fees get expensive quickly, not to mention late fees if you aren't able to make it in person to pay a bill before the due date.

Learn About a Fresh Start Account
Man relaxing at home, drinking coffee and using a smartphone

If this is where you are right now, there is help available to get you back into a traditional bank account.

3 Reasons Why a Bank Denied Your Bank Account
  1. You owe money to any bank or credit union
  2. Excessively overdrawing your account
  3. Problems verifying your identity
Find Out Why You Were Denied a Bank Account and Clear Your ChexSystems® Report

First, review your consumer reporting files. Banks rely on consumer reporting agencies such as ChexSystems or Early Warning Services to get banking history information on applicants. When information in that report causes the bank to deny your account application, you'll receive a notice that you've been denied, you have a legal right to a copy of this report so you can take steps to rectify the situation or file a dispute. Your report may contain old or incorrect information, and you'll be able to see which bank you need to contact to pay off outstanding fees or request errors to be removed from your report. You can call ChexSystems at 800-428-9623 or Early Warning Services at 800-745-1560.

WaFd Bank is Here to Help

If you've been denied an account in the past, WaFd Bank offers a Fresh Start Account*. Think of it as a second chance bank account—it helps you build a positive account history with access to online and digital banking, a contactless debit card, and access to more than 200 branches and 40,000 fee free ATMs. Plus, you can request to have your account upgraded to a traditional checking account after one year, including WaFd Bank Free Checking**.

*Account owners must be 18 years of age or older and be a US Citizen or Permanent Resident Alien with a social security number or tax information number to open an account online. Online Account Opening is restricted to clients within our 8-state footprint. Fresh Start account is available to individuals who are unable to open a traditional checking account due to a negative ChexSystems report, if the account(s) reported to ChexSystems are not classified as fraud and have been paid in full. Customers must maintain their Fresh Start account in good standing. An account will be deemed "not in good standing" if any combination of two (2) or more ACH or debit card transactions are presented that would cause the account to become overdrawn if paid. If this occurs, the debit card may be deactivated, and WaFd Bank may deem the account must be closed. Customers who maintain their account in "good standing" will be eligible to access other products and services shortly after the 12-month anniversary of the account opening date. This account is excluded from any "new checking" promotion that may be occurring at the time of account opening.

**Nonsufficient funds charge may apply.