Over 80% of banks use the ChexSystems report to open new accounts when you apply. Having a negative banking history can be detrimental to financial growth and prosperity.
It's important to know what's in your ChexSystems report that financial institutions are viewing.
How To Get Your Free ChexSystems Report
Steps to Get your ChexSystems Report Online
Step 1. Visit the website ChexSystems.com.
Step 2. Input basic information such as your Name, Birthdate, Current Address and Social Security Number.
Step 3. Answer ChexSystem's four verification questions.
Step 4. ChexSystems will verify your identity in a matter of seconds.
Step 5. View your ChexSystems report online or download a copy for your records.
Order your ChexSystems Report by US Mail
Complete, print and mail the completed Consumer Request for Disclosure Form to:
Chex Systems, Inc.
Attn: Consumer Relations
PO Box 583399
Minneapolis, MN 55458
ChexSystems Phone Number
ChexSystems phone number is (800) 428.9623. You can order your ChexSystems report on this automated phone system 24 hours a day. Representatives are available to assist during normal business hours 8:00am – 7:00pm Central Time, Monday through Friday.
What is ChexSystems
ChexSystems is a nationwide consumer reporting agency that collects data about consumer bank account history. When you apply for a new bank account, most banks and credit unions utilize ChexSystems to review your banking history.
Information about your banking history is then used to create a ChexSystems report that can be accessed by banks to evaluate risk when consumers apply for an account.
Unless you open a bank account at one of the few No-ChexSystems banks, it's difficult to get around ChexSystems' massive database.
For a fee, ChexSystems provides information to banks, credit unions and other types of financial institutions that are allowed to access it under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
What's in a ChexSystems report
ChexSystems reports are derived from the information financial institutions report to them about customers. ChexSystems compiles and reports that information back to financial institutions for a fee.
Information found in a ChexSystems report includes:
- Personal information: Your report includes your name, date of birth, addresses and phone numbers.
- Bank account applications: Inquiries signify that a consumer has applied for a financial product, like a bank account or payday loan.
- Bank account closures: Closed checking and savings accounts.
- Unpaid bank fees: Overdraft fees, monthly service fees, ATM fees.
- Bounced checks and overdrafts: Instances of insufficient funds and accounts where you still owe money—such as an account with a negative balance due to overdrafts
- Checks ordered: How many check orders you have placed and how often
- Account abuse: Typically involves account mismanagement and unpaid debt on an account without intention on the consumer’s part to misuse the account for financial or personal gain.
- Suspected fraudulent activity: Typically involves suspicion of intentional misuse of an account for financial or personal gain.
- Unpaid fees or checks: Any unpaid fees and checks will be listed. Information about bounced or returned checks will include the retailer or business the check was written to, check number, amount, date of check and date of check paid.
- Potential fraudulent activity: Instances of potential fraud.
Information stays on ChexSystems reports for five years. However, if you have the right to dispute any inaccurate information on your report. If the ChexSystems dispute is successful, the information can be removed.
Banks will often label accounts as “suspected fraud” when reporting accounts to ChexSystems. This type of notation is very harmful to a consumer's banking history. Plus, the suspected fraud label may be unwarranted with the customer being the victim of a scam.
According to USA.gov, these four scams are currently the most common:
- Overpayment scams – Someone sends you a check, instructs you to deposit it in your bank account, and wire part of the money back to them. But the check was fake, so you’ll have to pay your bank the amount of the check, plus you’ll lose any money you wired.
- Unsolicited check fraud – A scammer sends you a check for no reason. If you cash it, you may be authorizing the purchase of items or signing up for a loan you didn’t ask for.
- Automatic withdrawals – A scam company sets up automatic withdrawals from your bank account to qualify for a free trial or to collect a prize.
- Phishing – You receive an email message that asks you to verify your bank account or debit card number.
The FCRA which states information reported by a financial institution, bank or credit union must be accurate. It's worth disputing fraud notations with ChexSystems and the bank, especially if you have documentation to back up the dispute.
There is a ChexSystems dispute form that can be submitted directly online.
Being unbanked or having to use check cashing stores and prepaid debit cards is costly. Take the first step in establishing a traditional banking relationship and take advantage of the stabilizing benefits a bank account provides. You still have banking options like second chance banking or No-ChexSystems banks if you're denied a checking account.