How To Get A Checking Account: Solutions For The "Underbanked"

There are three types of unbanked or underbanked people:

1) Immigrants who lack enough paperwork to obtain banking services.

2) People who have had too many checks bounce or whose credit is so terrible that they can’t get banking services.

3) People who distrust or fear banks for whatever reason.

This post is aimed at the second type of person and lists resources that can help those with a troubled past get back on the straight and narrow.

According to Bankrate, there are 40-60 million people who are underbanked and many of them need help to get back in the game. If you’ve been turned away because of your credit report, Bankrate says you might just want to try another bank. Not all banks run your credit for a checking account. If you’ve bounced too many checks, you might want to look for a bank that doesn’t deal with the check reporting agencies. Here are Bankrate’s recommended steps:

• Take a class.
Visit for information regarding classes that you can complete for a fee that will give you the skills you need to open and keep a checking account. Many banks will allow persons who complete the class a second chance.
• Open a savings account first.
To open a savings account you need only have the minimum deposit amount. Use the account responsibly for several months and then approach the bank for a checking account. Better yet, if you are able, purchase a certificate of deposit and ask that you receive a checking account in return.
• Find a bank that does not use national check reporting bureaus.
If you’ve had a bad experience with a previous checking account, find a bank that does not use the check reporting agencies. Not all banks use these specialty bureaus for new accounts. One resource you can check for banks in your state is

Getting Back Check-Writing Privileges [Bankrate]
(Photo: DCVision2006)