How To Clear Up Your ChexSystems Report
When you open an account at a bank they will run your name through ChexSystems. This is a data base that banks use to make sure that you do not have any outstanding accounts at other banks. You may also have a ChexSystems report if you have a history of bouncing checks and mishandling your account. A bank may choose not to open an account for you based on the information found on your ChexSystems report.
Obtain a Copy of Your Report
You can obtain a copy of the ChexSystems report by visiting their website and requesting one. You are entitled to one report per year under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act. This report will show the banks that have reported you to ChexSystems. There will be a list of accounts that have been closed by the bank as well as money that is still owed to the banks by you. The account history will stay on your report for five years, but you can pay off outstanding balances owed to the banks. Once you do this, many banks may considering opening an account for you.
Paying Off Balances at the Banks
Once you see what you owe where, you can begin to make payments to pay off the balance that the banks says that you owe it. If you visit the bank and talk to a customer service representative, they may be willing to waive a portion of the charges for you. They can also explain what the charges were and how long your account was in the negative, which caused them to close your account.
You will need to contact each bank separately, and you can either save up the money and then talk to the bank or work on paying off a little bit each week. Once the balance is paid off, you need to request that they report to ChexSystems that the account has been paid in full. This will make it easier to open an account in the future.
Disputing an Account You Did Not Open
There is also the possibility that someone opened an account in your name without your permission. This is identity theft. You will need to take several steps to dispute this and have the account removed from your ChexSystems report. You should also pull a copy of your credit report and check for identity theft on it, since many of the steps are the same and it will save you time to have all of the information available.
- First, you will need to contact the bank and explain that you did not open the account. You will need basic information so that you can file your police report.
- Once you have the information, you will need to file a police report and explain that you did not open the accounts and that your identity was stolen. You will need a copy of this report for your own records, and one for each bank or credit card company where an account was opened fraudulently.
- Send the police report to the banks, and then contact the credit bureaus and ChexSystems explaining that the account was done by identity theft. You will need to dispute the account. You can submit the dispute for ChexSystems online at their website. It can take up to 30 days for this to be completed.
Living Without a Bank Account
If you have a poor report, you may not find a bank or credit union that is willing to open a checking account for you. It takes careful planning and extra money to pay your bills without an account. You may not even qualify for prepaid credit or debit cards. You will need to pay some bills with money orders, and you will need to find someplace that will cash your check for you. If you are careful and budget your money, and set money aside each month, you can begin to fix the situation. Once you clear up your outstanding balances, you may be able to open a savings account, which will make things easier to manage and make it easier to save money without worrying about the extra cash you may have on hand. As this happens be careful to build up a pattern of your account in good standing so that you can open a checking account again.