You go to the bank ATM to pull out $100 for the weekend. You check the available balance before taking the money out, seeing there is $300 in the account. Unfortunately, you forgot about a $250 check that clears on Monday, or at least it should have. You are now overdrawn by $50, with insufficient funds fees to pay. Worst of all, this minor oversight puts you on ChexSystems, a database among participating banks about negative banking practices. Opening a new savings account while on the ChexSystems is difficult.
Talk to the bank where you have a checking account. Ask if you can open a savings account, offering to link it to your checking account's overdraft protection. If you have only one or two problems and a long banking history at the institution, the bank is likely to open the savings account, realizing it is a way to prevent more account problems.
Make sure all other bank account balances are in the positive. Banks understand that mistakes happen. Show that you corrected them completely and right away.
Make sure any ChexSystems transactions are noted properly. Obtain a free copy of your ChexSystems report by visiting the ChexSystems website at consumerdebit.com. Look for errors on your report and verify that all paid transactions are marked as such.
Send a letter to ChexSystems to have any errors removed. Provide documentation supporting your claims.
Write a letter to the financial institution that made the report. Only that institution can remove accurate reports if the matter was settled and the amount paid. Transactions remain on the report for five years. If your financial problems were four years earlier with none since, you may be able to have the bank remove the report, increasing your chances of opening a savings account without a problem.
Find a bank that isn't part of ChexSystems. Most major institutions are part of the network, but smaller credit unions and local banks may not be. Ask the bank representative. Keep in mind that a savings account is less risky than a checking account because it doesn't sit with outstanding checks. You may be able to open a savings account even with a ChexSystems bank. Just ask.
Provide the bank representative with your identification and personal information to open the account. Sign the required paperwork and make your initial deposit with cash.
Send correspondence to ChexSystems, Consumer Relations, 7805 Hudson Road, Suite 100, Woodbury, MN, 55125.
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