ChexSystems is a database that banks use to determine if potential customers are too great of a risk to the bank. Banks will report you to this system if they close your account for negative balances or if you lied when you opened your account. Generally, the bank will list the reason. The information can stay on the Chexsystems records for five years.
Some banks will not allow you to be a customer as long as you are on the list. Other banks will allow you to open an account if you have proof that you have paid off a balance that you owe the other bank. Some banks will offer you an account with higher fees, which help to offset the bank's risk for having a customer with previous mistakes.
You can request a report from ChexSystems if you have been denied an account in the last sixty days. You can ask the bank to give you information on how to receive a report or visit their website. Once you receive the report you will need to clear up any fees that you owe other banks to clear up your ChexSystems report. When you do this request that they send in a report that the account has been paid. You can also request a letter stating this that you can take with you to the bank. You can dispute any information by contacting ChexSystems as well. Telescan is another system that some banks and retail stores use. You will need to go through the same process to address any issues that you have with Telescan.
You can avoid being reported to ChexSystems by contacting your bank when you are in the negative. Some banks are willing to work with you as long as you are making a real and steady effort to bring your account back into the positive. This works the best if you communicate with your bank in person at the branch. You should work to stop the overdraft cycle as quickly as possible, so that this does not turn into a constant problem. you should balance your checking account regularly, and stick to a written budget to avoid these problems in the future.
You need to be proactive if you have been reported to ChexSystems. Take the time to contact the bank today and begin repairing the problem now. It is too difficult to survive without being able to use a bank to have electronic access to your money. You may be able to get by with just a savings account for a short time, but your banking fees will increase. The sooner you can clear up the report and pay off any fees that you owe, the sooner you will be able to open a new account.