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Understanding Banking History Reports

Obstacles to Opening Accounts


You may not be able to open an account at a bank or credit union because of a banking history report.  Banking history reports track how you have handled savings and checking accounts in the past.  If you have overdrawn accounts, had fees that you did not pay, or been suspected of fraud, banking history reports will include this information. Ordering a copy of your file and taking the necessary actions to correct the issues in the file are the first steps to re-establishing a banking relationship.  Depending on the service your bank or credit union uses, you could have a report with ChexSystems, Telecheck, or Early Warning.  There may be other companies as well.  Ask the bank or credit union where you want to open an account which consumer reports they use to qualify customers for accounts.

Banks and credit unions may also check your credit reports.  Before opening an account, check your credit reports and file a dispute if there is incomplete or incorrect information.

You may also have trouble opening an account for lack of proper documentation.  Most banks and credit unions will require one or more forms of picture identification in order to open a new account.  If you are unable to present this identification, then you may be turned down for an account.  Various forms of picture identification are issued by different federal and state government agencies.  Each has its own requirements that you must fulfill before it will give you an ID.  Learn what you need and get the proper identification and you are that much closer to having a bank account.

Getting Proper Identification to Open an Account

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Information is great. But taking small steps now can lead to big changes.
  • Today
  • Know your banking history. Take steps to check and correct information that may be in your file, which can remove an obstacle to opening an account.
  • Next Week
  • Get the identification required to open an account at a bank or credit union.
  • Check your credit reports. Be sure to file a dispute if you find incomplete or incorrect information in your reports.
  • During the Next Few Months
  • Open a new account. Make sure you have everything you need to open an account before visiting the bank or credit union.