There are many people in America in need of a second chance in their personal life as well as financial status. Americans from all walks of life, from single parents to divorcees, and those who are just recovering from an economic slump are trying to start anew. What is a better way to commemorate your efforts than to set up a new checking account?

The needs of these individuals are no secret to the banks. That is why there are so-called second chance bank accounts that can help these people start over. Second chance checking accounts are bank accounts specifically for customers who have a negative financial history. These customers are listed in ChexSystems, which is a national database of consumer checking history. This list is used by financial institutions for the purpose of monitoring the activities of consumers. Once your name gets listed there, the record will stay for five years. I need not tell you that it is extremely difficult to get off this list once your name is there.

The list in ChexSystems provides poor assessment of the risk involved with granting another chance to a potential customer. One reason for this is that the list contains names of individuals who should not be there at all. Banks use the ChexSystems list in different ways, but usually it is for setting parameters for defaulting customers.

Because the ultimate goal of any banking institution is to improve the quality of life of depositors and the community in general, second chance checking accounts are given to customers who have bad financial records or who have been blacklisted. Second chance checking accounts are perfect for blacklisted individuals who cannot set up accounts in mainstream banks because of derogatory reports. Of course, the second chance checking account is only the start. These customers are expected to return to mainstream banking after they have proven that they can maintain a good record.

These second chance checking accounts have restrictions attached to them, and some activities and transactions are impossible to process. An example of these restrictions is the denial of issuing check books. There are banks that have lax guidelines when a customer wants to open a second chance checking account, taking into consideration the potential financial problems related with checking account management.

Banks have varying requirements for eligibility to open a second chance account. Some banks need a big opening deposit. Other banks are considerate enough to include most of the features of regular checking accounts like online payments, direct deposits and even ATM withdrawals.

If you are over drafted, or you have lost a great deal of cash in the past because of debt, a second chance checking account may be the “fresh start” you are looking for. You can easily rebuild your financial background and do better with your checking account this time around.

As long as there is no fraud recorded under your name, banks can grant these second chance checking accounts, even if your name is on the ChexSystems’ list. Some banks choose from the people on the list during the selection process. If you handle this second chance well, you will soon be able to open a mainstream bank account.