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Will The Get Checking Program Help You Get A New Checking Account?

Get Checking is an educational program designed to help people who have been denied a regular checking account get back on track with mainstream banking. It has helped some people get a new checking account open. On this page, we go over the details of the program and how it may or may not be useful for you.

What is the Get Checking program?

Get Checking is a 6-hour program that teaches banking basics and checking account management. Upon completion of it and successfully passing a quiz, participants will receive a certificate. This certificate enables successful graduates of the program to apply for checking accounts at participating financial institutions, even if you have a ChexSystems record. These participating financial institutions are aware that Get Checking account program graduates may not pass the usual criteria for qualifying for a checking or savings account. However, they are willing to grant approvals to graduates of the program.

The Get Checking program was started by eFunds Corporation, the parent company of Chexsystems. The intent of the program was to provide financial education to consumers who have become "unbanked" due to their bank account management errors. It was launched in partnership with the non-profit National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) or commonly under the name Consumer Credit Counseling Service. The initial program facilitators was the University of Wisconsin Extension. Other local community organization also helped to bring the program about. The first Get Checking program was conducted in 1998 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The program has spread to over 30 communities in 11 states. The program is still spreading and is not yet available in every state.

It costs between $40 - $60 to attend the 6-hour program. It is usually conducted over 2 or 3 evenings, or on Saturdays.



Who is the Get Checking program for?

The Get checking program is designed to help those who have been denied a regular checking account get back on track with mainstream banking. The denial is usually because they have a negative record on their ChexSystems file. To be accepted into the program, applicants need to produce a copy of their Chexsystems report and a valid photo ID. This program is not available to those who have a Chexsystem record due to fraud.

Even if you have no problems with your Chexsystems record, you may still want to consider this program. It is designed for those who are just gotten a checking account, or intent to get your first account ever. This financial education program will help to prepare you to manage your checking account. For anyone with difficulty handling a checking account, this course is something to consider to prevent you from making any errors that will blemish your record.

Should I participate in a Get Checking program?

There are two main reasons why you may want to consider this program. The first is that it allows you to receive a checking account. That provides access to banking services which helps you manage to your personal finances, perform everyday transactions, and the ability to apply for loans and mortgages if you need them. If getting a checking account is all you are looking into, you should also realize that without the Get Checking certification, you can still open a new checking account through various second chance banks. Furthermore, Get Checking is not available in every city, so that is sometimes not an option. Here are various banks that offer second chance checking accounts.

The second reason to consider is the financial education that comes with it. Almost none of us received good financial education while we attended school. Some of us may feel that we already know how to manage our finances and use a checking account, and there is no need to take a course on this. Whatever happened in the past that caused the current Chexsystems problems, we may feel that the lesson has already been learned. Reading articles online, or visiting the library for books and magazines is another way to learn. Yet for others, it may be a good time to learn through a formalized program by taking the course. The added benefit is that we have more choices of financial institutions that will be willing to work with us to get a new checking account established.

What will I learn?

You will learn about banking basics, such as the different types of bank accounts and their features, and how to choose the right account for your needs. You will also learn about the various fees involved, and making decisions that will free you from having to pay extra fees. Other parts of the course curriculum include learning how to use a checking account properly, such as writing checks without going into overdraft. There are also lessons on money management, keeping a budget and basic information about credit.

Will all participants of the Get Checking program be guaranteed a checking account?

While most participants who successfully complete the program have a good shot at getting a checking account approved, there are no guarantees. You are also required to make full payments of any banking fees owed to your previous banks for situations that have caused your negative ChexSystems record.

Which cities currently offer Get Checking programs?

Some of the communities that offer Get Checking programs are:

Arizona - Mesa
California - Arcata, Bakersfield, Fresno, Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Ana, Stockton
Colorado - Denver
Florida - Melbourne
Iowa - Waterloo
Illinois - Aurora, Chicago, Peoria, Waukegan, Indiana Indianapolis, Kentucky Louisville
Louisiana - Baton Rouge
Maine - South Portland
Minnesota - Minneapolis
Oregon - Medford
Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
Rhode Island - East Providence
Wisconsin - Beloit, Chippewa Falls, Green Bay, LaCrosse, Madison, Menasha, Milwaukee, Racine, Rhinelander, Sheboygan, Wausau

Which banks and participants of the Get Checking program?

Some of the banks that participate in Get Checking programs currently or in the past include the following. Please check with a local branch office for their current participation status. You can also access a list of the top second chance checking banks that do not require the Get Checking certification.

Los Angeles: Arrowhead Credit Union, Citibank, Financial Partners Credit Union, First Bank & Trust, Harbor Federal Credit Union, LA Schools Federal Credit Union, Lockheed Federal Credit Union, OneUnited Bank, Orange County Teachers FCU, Partners Federal Credit Union, Pasadena Schools FCU, Service Plus Credit Union, Telesis Community Credit Union, Union Bank of California, U.S. Bank, Wescom Credit Union

Chicago: Alpine Bank, Blackhawk State Bank, Citizens Equity First Credit Union, Members Alliance Credit Union, National City Bank, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo Bank

Milwaukee: Alliance Credit Union, Legacy Bank, Anchor Bank Bank Mutual, Appletree Credit Union, North Shore Bank, Brewery Credit Union, St. Francis Bank, Educators Credit Union State Financial Bank, Landmark Credit Union, Sunset Bank, Great Midwest Bank, TCF Bank, F.S.B., Guaranty Bank S.S.B. , UW Credit Union, Guardian Credit Union, US Bank, Wells Fargo Bank

As an alternative to a conventional checking account, consider a prepaid Visa card account with no ChexSystems requirements. It works just like a checking account, allowing for direct deposit of paychecks and online billpay (one-time or recurring payments). You can deposit cash into the account from 135,000 retail locations nationwide. In addition, the card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted. Click to learn more: The Perfect Alternative to a Checking Account!


The perfect alternative to a checking account