ChexSystems is a consumer credit reporting agency and check verification service, operated by eFunds. The service provides data on the manner in which consumers handle their savings and checking accounts, in a similar way to which credit agencies report data on consumer credit relationships.
An estimated 80 percent of credit unions and banks in the United States use the agency in their deposit account application process. If a customer has a problem meeting a payment, a check that they have issued bounces or they perform almost any other type of banking irregularity, a report will be made against their name and they will be entered into the system.
Once a person has a negative item reported against their name, they will find it extremely hard to open any regular type of banking account. There are, however, steps consumers can take if they find themselves in this predicament.
As ChexSystems are a consumer reporting agency they are governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which means that consumers are entitled to access their report and demand proof of its data. You are able to look at this report by visiting the website chexhelp.com. The report is free to obtain if you have been refused a bank account within the last 60 days.
If you discover that entries have been made in error, you can request in writing to the bank that the information be removed or amended. If the report contains inaccurate or misleading information the law states that it has to be deleted or amended. This process is far quicker than waiting the allotted amount of time for the entries to be removed automatically, – as this can be up to five years in the majority of cases.
If you have been reported to ChexSystems, there are a number of steps that you should follow: Firstly, do not close the account, but make sure you pay off any outstanding overdraft charges as soon as you can. If possible, keep your balance in the positive, and make sure that any checks you have previously issued clear without a problem.
Consumers that are not able to remove negative items from their report may have to apply for a bad credit checking account. These accounts will allow the customer to pay bills using their account number, re-build their score and give them many of the same benefits as a regular checking account.
Many of these products give instant approval and have no ChexSystems check, and can carry many uses for people that are ‘stuck in ChexSystems’. The downside is that these accounts often carry higher charges for carrying out basic transactions.