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Second-chance banking that doesn’t cut corners

You deserve to get ahead with a complete bank account.

What is a second-chance bank account?

Mistakes happen in banking, like repeated overdrafts and unpaid overdraft fees. But that doesn’t have to take you out of the banking system forever.

If you’ve been denied a bank account because of a bad banking history, second-chance banking offers you a way to get back into the banking system. A bad banking history could be due to past mistakes like unpaid overdraft fees, forced account closure, or excessive withdrawals.

Those mistakes can make a difference when it comes to ChexSystems, a service many banks use when reviewing applications. ChexSystems is a consumer reporting agency that reports your banking history to financial institutions. If you’ve been denied a bank account, it’s often because of a negative checking or savings account history report from ChexSystems.

Varo does not use reports from ChexSystems when reviewing applications.

More than 80% of banking institutions use reports from agencies like ChexSystems to decide whether to approve someone for an account. — National Consumer Law Center

Second-chance banking, not second-rate banking

If you’ve been denied a bank account before, you might think you have to settle for a second-chance bank account that doesn’t have all the benefits of a standard bank account. Many of these accounts, sometimes called opportunity checking accounts, come with monthly fees and minimum balance requirements. That makes good money management harder than it should be—but you don’t have to settle.

A Varo Bank Account is full of benefits that can help you take control of your money.

  • No ChexSystems or credit report check
  • No minimum balance requirement or monthly fees
  • A debit card (not a prepaid card)
  • Access to 55,000+ fee-free Allpoints® ATMs
  • Payday up to two days early with direct deposit*
  • An optional high-yield Varo Savings Account with automatic savings tools

Second-chance banking is banking for all

A bank account is essential for good money management, and we believe everyone deserves the chance to have one. Varo does not use ChexSystems when reviewing applications because past mistakes shouldn’t keep you from getting a great bank account today.

Banking for all means we don’t limit you by your banking history. Instead, we offer a complete, second-chance bank account that can help you get back on track.

Rebuild your banking and open an account

Second-chance banking can open the door if you’ve made mistakes in the past. Here are two ways a Varo Bank Account can help you build up a good banking history.

1. No minimum balance requirement and no monthly fees mean you won’t be punished if you don’t have a certain amount in your account.

2. When you get paid early with direct deposit*, you can make payments early.


Can I open a bank account with bad credit?

Yes, you can still apply for and open a bank account with bad credit. In fact, getting a reputable bank account is often a first step in rebuilding your financial standing. You can open a bank account at a banking institution that won’t limit you by your banking history, like here at Varo.

The primary thing to consider when opening a bank account with bad credit or a second-chance account should be bank fees. At Varo, we don’t charge a monthly banking fee or overdraft fees, and we don’t require a minimum balance. We understand that everyone makes mistakes from time to time, and it can be hard to get ahead with your finances when you still have to pay for your past mistakes.

What should I do if a traditional bank has denied me a bank account in the past?

First, the verification service banks typically use is called ChexSystems. If you’ve been denied a bank account based on negative banking history, you can request a free copy of your ChexSystems report. If there are errors, you can dispute them.

If you have a poor bank history report, try to fix the issues. For example, if you have overdue accounts or collections notices, call the bank listed to find out if you can still pay them back. If they allow you to do this, you can then ask if they’ll remove their negative reports.

You can also find a bank account that won’t check your past banking history, like second-chance banking with Varo.

Do you check credit history when I apply for a Varo Bank Account?

No, we won’t check your credit history when you apply for a Varo Bank Account. This also means applying won’t affect your credit score.

What sort of information will I need to provide to open a Varo Bank Account?

All you need is a form of personal identification, like a valid driver's license or passport, and your social security number. That’s it! To apply, simply download the Varo app from the App Store, tap "Get Started," and follow the prompts to submit your application. It should take you no more than five minutes!

What services does Varo provide to help customers save money and improve spending habits?

Great question! As your partner in your personal finance journey, we offer two automatic savings tools to help you save money effortlessly:

  • Save Your Change. When you make an qualifying transaction with your Varo Visa® Debit Card, we’ll round up to the nearest dollar and automatically transfer the change from your Varo Bank Account to your Varo Savings Account.
  • Save Your Pay. When you receive a direct deposit to your Varo Bank Account, we’ll take a percentage of the direct deposit—any amount you choose—and automatically transfer it to your Varo Savings Account.

These tools are an easy way to create smart savings habits, available in the Varo app whenever you want.