Second Chance Banking in Iowa

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A study done by the FDIC shows that about 2.6% of households, or nearly 34,000 households, in Iowa are completely “unbanked”. This means that no one in the household has a checking or savings account. Compared to the rest of the country, this number is actually pretty low!

There are plenty of reasons why people live without a bank account. For one, there can definitely be a distrust in big banks and if they will truly keep your money safe. An increasing number of people are also being blacklisted from the majority of banks in Iowa because they’ve been reported to a consumer reporting agency called ChexSystems.

ChexSystems is used by the majority of banks and credit unions in the country and is supposed to protect banks by turning away anyone with a history of fraud or suspected identity theft. With that being said, a lot of other people are turned away for more common banking mistakes. If you’ve experienced an involuntary account closure or haven’t been able to pay debts at other banking institutions, there’s a good chance you have been reported to ChexSystems.

Instead of shooting in the dark with the big banks, we’ve given you the full scoop on all the banks in Iowa that truly want your business! Many of these banks offer second chance bank accounts that are tailored to people who have a checkered banking history. Other banks don’t use ChexSystems at all and will even overlook a bad credit score to help you get the checking account you deserve.

Second Chance Banking in Iowa for June 2024

Get an Account Today!

Chase Secure Banking | $100 New Account Bonus
Most people know Chase and with over 15,000 ATMs and 4,700 branches across the country, the Chase Secure Banking account might be a good fit for a second chance bank account.

Chase Secure Banking at a Glance

  • NO credit check
  • NO ChexSystems
  • NO minimum deposit to open
  • NO overdraft fees
  • FREE access to over 15,000 Chase ATMs
  • FREE Chase OnlineSM Bill Pay
  • FREE money orders and cashier’s checks
  • Quickly send and receive money with Zelle®
  • Paper checks are not offered with the account

Earning the $100 Bonus

To earn the $100 bonus, you’ll need to complete 10 qualifying transactions within 60 days of account enrollment. Qualifying transactions include debit card purchases, online bill payments, Chase QuickDepositSM, using Zelle®, or receiving ACH credits.

What to Know About the Approval Process

Chase Secure Banking is the only account offered by Chase that doesn’t use ChexSystems but does use Early Warning Services (EWS). Additionally, if you’ve had an account closed by Chase in the past, your application will not be approved. Past account closures can include missteps such as non-payment of fees, excessive overdrafts, or suspected fraud.


Chase doesn’t offer overdraft services with this account as you can only spend the money you have available. You should also know that using non-Chase ATMs can cost from $3.00 to $5.00 per transaction. Surcharges from the ATM owner/network may apply.

Chase Secure Banking carries a $4.95 monthly service fee, but it can be waived when you have electronic deposits made into the account totaling $250 or more during each monthly statement period.

Other Account Features

Chase Secure Banking offers several other features we like. This includes:

  • Zero Liability Protection. Get reimbursed for unauthorized debit card transactions when reported promptly.
  • Budgeting Tools. Manage your spending and get daily spending insights with Snapshot in the Chase Mobile® app.
  • Credit and Identity Monitoring. Track your credit score, get a personalized action plan provided by Experian™ to help improve your score and receive identity monitoring for free through Chase Credit Journey®.
  • Early Direct Deposit. Get that “just paid” feeling up to two business days sooner with early direct deposit.

If you’ve wanted to bank with Chase and wondered if you’d qualify, we think you’ll be happy with the Chase Secure Banking account.

Get a Chase Account Now!

Chime | Over 7 Million Active Users
Fast-growing Chime® is one of our favorite checking accounts. The account has some amazing features and Chime accepts almost all customers who apply… even if you have bad or poor credit or have been blacklisted by ChexSystems or the credit bureaus.

Chime at a Glance

  • NO credit check or ChexSystems
  • NO initial deposit required
  • NO minimum balance required
  • NO monthly or annual fees
  • NO NSF/overdraft fees1
  • NO foreign transaction fees
  • NO fees at over 60,000 ATMs2
  • NO fees for mobile and online bill pay
  • FREE cash deposits at 8,500+ Walgreens3
  • Get your paycheck up to 2 days early with direct deposit4
  • 700,000+ 5-star reviews for the Chime smartphone app
  • Instantly transfer funds to friends and family without additional apps5
  • FDIC insured account up to $250,000

Savings Made Easy

Chime was one of the first to offer a “round up” option. If you use your Chime card on a purchase of $10.65, Chime gives you the option of automatically rounding up to $11.00 and putting the remaining $.35 in your free Chime savings account. And that adds up over time! Plus, Chime pays 2.00% Annual Percentage Yield (APY)6 in interest on that savings account.

We don’t think there is another company innovating for their customers like Chime.

Get a Chime Account Today!

Found Business Banking | Our Favorite Business Account
One of the biggest challenges for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and gig workers is finding the right bank account for their growing business.

The Found Business Banking Account solves that problem by simplifying your financial journey. Available only to sole proprietors and single-owner businesses, the sign-up process takes only a few minutes. There’s no credit check or ChexSystems.

Found Business Banking at a Glance

  • No opening deposit required
  • No minimum balance
  • No required monthly fees
  • Free unlimited ACH payments
  • Free unlimited invoicing
  • Free mobile check deposits
  • Free built-in expense management tools
  • Accept bank transfers and card payments
  • Easily connect to Quickbooks, Stripe, Venmo, PayPal, Etsy, etc.
  • Get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposit1
  • Send money to anyone within the U.S. using their phone number or email address
  • Deposit cash at over 79,000 locations
  • Access your account online or on the free app
  • Found’s core features are free. They also offer a paid product, FoundPlus

Fast Approval Process

Time is money and Found respects both. Apply for your business account online and the streamlined approval process ensures you’re up and running quickly. No lengthy paperwork needed to get swift access to your financial hub.

Easy Bookkeeping and Tax Management Tools

Managing your business finances shouldn’t be a headache. You get intuitive tools such as automated expense tracking, receipt capture, unlimited custom invoices, and the ability to manage 1099 contractor payments. Plus, you get the ability to auto-save for tax payments and automatically generate tax forms.

No Hidden Fees, No Surprises

Say goodbye to unexpected charges. believes in transparency. They’ve stripped away unnecessary fees, leaving you with a straightforward banking experience. No hidden costs—just clarity and peace of mind.

Found is a financial technology company, not a bank. Business banking services are provided by Piermont Bank, Member FDIC.2

Open a Found account now!

Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus
Upgrade is a digital banking platform providing a range of financial services, including checking accounts, personal loans, and credit cards without annual fees.

Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus at a Glance

  • Up to 2% cash back on purchases
  • NO opening deposit required
  • NO monthly maintenance fees
  • NO minimum balance requirement
  • NO NSF or overdraft fees
  • Fee-free cash withdrawals at over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs
  • Get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposit
  • 10%-20% lower interest rates on loans & credit cards through Upgrade
  • Earn up to 5.21% APY with a free Performance Savings Account
  • FDIC insured account up to $250,000

Earning 2% Cash Back

The Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus lets you earn 2% cash back rewards with debit card purchases. Eligible expenses include:

  • Convenience and drug stores
  • Gas stations
  • Monthly subscriptions, including streaming services
  • Restaurants
  • Utilities and cellphone services

All other purchases will earn 1% cash back. To earn the reward your account must be “active”. An active account is one that has a monthly direct deposit of $1,000 or more.

But if you choose not to or cannot meet the monthly direct deposit requirement, the account cashback program is reduced from 2% to 1%. In our view, that’s still a very strong offering with very few fees.

Consumers Love Upgrade

Managing your transactions is effortless, facilitated through either an intuitive online dashboard or the convenient Upgrade mobile app, available for both iOS (4.8 out of 5 rating) and Android (4.7 out of 5 rating) users. You’ll also have free access to your credit score and will be notified of any changes.

Not only is the Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus one of our favorites, but the account also has very high approval rates.

Get an Upgrade Account Now!

Current | Build Credit While You Bank
Current offers an innovative account to consumers who want it all without the costs and hassles.

The Current Build account helps you build credit every time you use the card. Sign-up takes about 2 minutes and Current has extremely high acceptance rates.

Current at a Glance

  • NO opening deposit required
  • NO credit check
  • NO minimum balance
  • NO fees at over 40,000 Allpoint® ATMs in the U.S.
  • Get your paycheck up to 2 days early with qualifying direct deposit
  • Earn up to a 4.00% bonus on your balance up to $6,000 with direct deposit; earn 0.25% without
  • Earn points for unlimited cashback at participating retailers
  • Send money instantly without any added fees
  • An elegant but simple smartphone app
  • 24/7 member support

Swipe The Card and Build Credit

Using your Current Build account to BUILD your credit is simple. Here’s how it works:

  1. You add money to your account
  2. Swipe your card to make purchases, pay bills, or get money from an ATM machine
  3. The funds in your account pay for these transactions
  4. Current reports your payment to build your credit history

Current Works Hard for You

Current offers a really unique service it calls Gas Hold Removals. What’s a gas hold? Some gas stations may apply a hold from $50 to $100 when you use your card to pump gas. If you only pumped $10 of gas, but the gas station places a $100 hold on your funds, you won’t have access to the $90 difference for up to 3 business days! The Current Build card will immediately remove the hold so you have access to all your funds. We haven’t found that benefit anywhere in the marketplace.

We love the features, we love the smartphone app, and we love Current. That makes us think you’ll love them too.

Get a Current Account Now!

SoFi Checking & Savings | Earn a $325 Welcome Bonus
The SoFi Checking & Savings account is offered by SoFi Bank. It’s a checking AND savings account and we love that. Plus, they don’t use ChexSystems or your credit report to approve accounts.

SoFi Checking & Savings at a Glance

  • FREE SoFi debit MasterCard
  • FREE smartphone app. Manage your account online, too
  • No opening deposit required
  • No monthly minimum balance requirement
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • No fees at 55,000+ ATMs
  • Get paid up to two days early with direct deposit

How to Earn the $325 Bonus

As soon as you get your SoFi Checking & Savings account and deposit $10 or more, you’ll earn $25. When you set up direct deposit from an employer, SoFi will credit your account up to an additional $300 (depending on the amount of your direct deposit).

Using the SoFi direct deposit option unlocks additional benefits, too. First, if you overspend a bit, SoFi will cover up to $50 with no overdraft fees. Second, you’ll receive a much higher interest amount of 4.60% APY on savings account balances and .50% APY on checking account balances. If you decide not to utilize direct deposit, you’ll receive 1.20% APY on savings balances.

The sign-up process can take less than 60 seconds. With over 6 million members, SoFi is a bank you can count on!

SoFi has been great! The account was easy to open and I got my debit card a few days later. The smartphone app is easy to use and I can check everything from my computer, too. SoFi seems to be the perfect bank.
Claire M., SoFi Customer

Get a SoFi Account Now!

Acorns is making a name as a place to invest money for the long term, but what we really like is that they offer both checking and savings accounts. That makes Acorns another of our favorite bank accounts. As a company built to compete with the largest banks, Acorns offers some extraordinary benefits.

We love the heavy metal tungsten Visa debit card and the world-class smartphone app that allows you to manage every aspect of your new checking account such as budgeting, spending, and security.

Another nice option is the ability to round up on every purchase and Acorns will take that money and automatically put it in a savings account. This really helps build a nest egg.

It takes about 2-3 minutes to sign up and not only do you get a checking and savings account, but you also have access to an investment account once you’re ready to consider that. And, it’s free. Here’s more:

  • FREE Visa® debit card
  • FREE bank-to-bank transfers
  • FREE physical check sending online or through the mobile app
  • FREE mobile check deposits
  • FREE access to 55,000+ fee-free ATMs
  • NO minimum balance or overdraft fees
  • NO credit check
  • $3 monthly fee
  • FDIC insured

Acorns was built to give everyone the tools to manage their finances which makes it one of our top picks.

Get an Acorns Account!

Ally Bank Spending Account
Ally Bank has been one of the most highly rated online banks for the past several years. It’s not because they have the most features, but because they consistently make their customers delighted with the features the bank offers.

For starters, there’s no minimum opening deposit required. Ally doesn’t charge any monthly maintenance fee and there is no overdraft fee (more on that below). You’ll have access to 43,000+ ATMs and Ally will reimburse you up to $10 per statement cycle if you get charged for using another institution’s machine.

You’ll become eligible for Ally’s overdraft program called CoverDraft 30 days after depositing a total of $100. Ally will activate CoverDraft automatically and send you an email when they do. You can turn CoverDraft off at any time, as long as your account balance isn’t negative. Otherwise, Ally will decline the transaction without payment. In either case, you won’t be charged an overdraft fee.

We like that you can use Zelle to send and receive money, get paid up to 2 days sooner with early direct deposit, and deposit checks remotely with Ally eCheck Deposit. We also like that Ally has high approval rates as long as you don’t have a ChexSystems or EWS fraud alert in your past.

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Cedar Falls Community Credit Union
Instead of using a ChexSystems report, Cedar Falls Community Credit Union opts to use a credit report to determine if you’re eligible for a checking account. As long as there aren’t too many negative entries, you should be good to go.

They offer a general Checking Account that comes with a mobile banking app with mobile check deposit, a free debit card, and overdraft protection services. This account is free to open and doesn’t have any monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements. You can also earn interest if your balance is over $500!

To get started, you will need to become a member of Cedar Falls Community CU first. They offer membership to anyone who lives or works in 20 eligible Iowa counties. You can also join if you have a relative that is already a member. Visit their website or one of their branches located in Cedar Falls or Waverly to get started.

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Collins Community Credit Union
Collins Community Credit Union provides a true second chance to those who are looking to rebuild their credit and re-establish a positive banking history. Their Take2 Checking comes with all of the checking necessities while remaining low-cost and easy to manage.

Take2 Checking requires $50 as an opening deposit and has a moderate monthly service fee of $9.95. In return, you get a free Visa debit card, access to online and mobile banking, unlimited check writing, and unlimited transactions. We like this account because it allows you to upgrade to a traditional checking option after 12 months of good standing.

Collins Community CU extends membership to anyone who lives or works in one of over 35 eligible Iowa counties. You can also join if you have a family member who has already become a member or if you work for one of their select employee groups. Their branches can be found throughout Iowa in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Altoona, and several other cities.

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DeWitt Bank and Trust
Instead of relying on ChexSystems, DeWitt Bank and Trust runs a credit report to determine if you’re eligible for a checking account. Out of the five accounts they offer, we recommend Totally Free Checking if you want to avoid excessive requirements and service fees.

The account only requires $25 to open and has no monthly service charges or minimum balance requirements. With Totally Free Checking you can set up direct deposit and use their online banking and bill pay tools. You will also get your first box of checks for free and a complimentary thank you gift!

To get started, visit their website or one of their branches located in DeWitt or Wilton.

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Discover Bank® Cashback Debit Checking Account
No. Fees. Period. That’s how Discover Bank promotes its Cashback Debit Checking Account. And, after conducting our research, we can say that’s mostly true. In fact, the only fees you’ll ever incur are for outgoing wire transfers and service charge fees if you use a non-Discover ATM if it is not part of the 60,000+ ATMs in their no-fee network.

As long as there are no past incidences of fraud on your ChexSystems report, Discover might be a great account for you.

Discover Bank® Cashback Debit Checking Account at a Glance

  • 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month
  • Access to 60,000+ fee-free ATMs; $510 cash withdrawal limit per day
  • Fee-free opt-in overdraft protection transfer service
  • Get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposit
  • Send and receive money with Zelle®
  • No monthly fee (no balance or activity requirements)
  • No fee for insufficient funds
  • Deposit cash at any Walmart — with no fees
  • Mobile check deposits
  • No deposit to open

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Dubuque Bank & Trust
If you’ve had issues with a ChexSystems bank in the past, Dubuque Bank & Trust could be a viable option for you. They won’t use ChexSystems when you apply for any of their accounts. If you’re looking for a simple and straightforward account, look no further than Free Checking.

All that is required to open this account is a low $25. You won’t have to worry about monthly fees if you enroll in eStatements and you also gain access to online banking, unlimited check writing, and money management tools.

You can fill out an online application or visit one of their branches located in Dubuque or Farley to get back on track with banking!

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Dupaco Community Credit Union
Dupaco Community Credit Union is another great example of a bank that utilizes a credit report in lieu of ChexSystems when verifying new accounts. If your credit score is intact and there aren’t too many negative entries, you should be able to get an account.

We recommend their Free Checking if you tend to keep an account balance of less than $5000. All that is needed to get started with the account is a $50 opening deposit. After that, you won’t need to worry about any monthly service charges or minimum balance requirements. You also get access to nice benefits including unlimited check writing, a free MasterCard debit card, and online banking access.

Everyone living and/or working in Iowa is eligible to join Dupaco Community CU. When you apply, you will need to deposit $25 into a savings account to establish membership. You can find branches across the state in Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Cedar Falls, and several other cities.

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Exchange State Bank
At Exchange State Bank, you won’t need to jump through hoops to get a checking account. They do not use ChexSystems, Telecheck, EWS, or a credit report when you apply for an account. Instead, all they require is that you present two forms of ID, one being government-issued.

We like their traditional Regular Checking account because it only has a low fee of $3.00 each month. This can be waived if your daily balance is above $100 or your monthly average balance is above $500. Although Exchange State Bank doesn’t have a huge internet presence or modern digital tools, this account can still be helpful for those that have been turned away from other banks in the past.

If you would like to get an account, contact one of their three branches in Ames, Collins, or Exira.

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Farmers & Merchants Savings Bank
Instead of using ChexSystems, Farmers & Merchants Savings Bank uses a credit report and requires two forms of ID when you apply for an account. If everything with your credit report checks out, we recommend their Free Checking account.

Free Checking requires an opening deposit of at least $100, but after that point the account is free and you won’t have to worry about any monthly service fees. This account also comes with the basics like a debit card and access to online and mobile banking.

To get started, you can apply for an account online or visit one of their locations in Iowa City, Lone Tree, or Nichols.

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Farmers State Bank
If you’ve had issues with ChexSystems in the past, Farmers State Bank may offer a solution for you. Instead of ChexSystems, they use an Equifax credit report. They require that your credit score is at least 600 or higher. If this fits your situation, we recommend their Green Checking account.

This account comes with all the necessities, including a free debit card, access to mobile banking with check deposit, and free eStatements each month. After you deposit $100 or more into your account at the time of opening, you won’t need to worry about any monthly service fees or balance requirements.

You can apply for this account online or visit one of their branches located in Cedar Falls, Dunkerton, Gilbertville, Jesup, Waterloo, Waverly, and Des Moines.

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Farmers Trust & Savings Bank
Farmers Trust & Savings Bank will pull a credit report and require two forms of ID when you apply for a checking account. So if you’re only having issues with ChexSystems, this may be a great option for you. They offer several different Kasasa checking products as well as an Everyday Checking account.

We like Everyday Checking because it has the fewest requirements and a low service fee of $4 each month if you are enrolled in eStatements. You can also avoid the fee if you enroll in direct deposit or keep a daily balance of $750 or more. This account is a great option if you value easy money management for day-to-day purchases.

Farmers Trust & Savings Bank is located in Spencer, Iowa. You can apply for an account online or contact their office to get started!

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Federation Bank
When you apply for an account at Federation Bank, they look at your credit report instead of your ChexSystems report to determine your eligibility. If your credit score is high enough, we recommend their Basic Checking account. If your score is lower, they also offer a Fresh Start Checking account for those needing some additional help.

All checking accounts include internet banking, free bill pay, and free overdraft sweeps. Their Fresh Start Checking requires a steep $250 opening deposit and a $6 monthly service charge. If your balance falls below $250, you will incur a $2 miscellaneous fee. If you are eligible for Basic Checking, there are fewer fees and a lower opening deposit amount.

To get an account, you will need to contact Federation Bank directly. You can visit them at one of their branches located in Washington, Brighton, Welman, or Richland.

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First Trust and Savings Bank
If you have negative entries in ChexSystems but your credit report remains intact, First Trust and Savings Bank may be a good option for you. They run a credit report to screen new applicants.

Out of their seven different account options, we recommend First Checking. This traditional account includes all the basics with no fees. You get access to free online banking and unlimited check writing without having to pay monthly service fees or worry about minimum balance requirements.

Unfortunately, you cannot apply for this account online, but you can contact one of their branches located in Wheatland, Dixon, Lost Nation, Calamus, Grand Mound, Donahue, or Eldridge to get started!

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Glenwood State Bank
To determine if you’re eligible for an account, Glenwood State Bank (formerly Frontier Savings Bank) will look at your credit report instead of your history with ChexSystems. As long as there aren’t too many negative entries on your credit report, you should be able to get an account with them.

We like their Regular Checking account because it has the least requirements and is an easy way to manage your money. If your daily balance remains above $300, they will even waive your monthly maintenance fee! This account includes unlimited check writing, digital wallet capabilities, and a debit card for day-to-day use.

Glenwood State Bank is Iowa-based and has four locations in Council Bluffs, Glenwood, and Tabor. Stop by one of their convenient locations to open an account!

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GO2bank is an offering of pre-paid card giant GoBank and we think it’s a step in the right direction. Like some of the newer “challenger banks” GO2bank will deposit your direct deposit check up to 2 days early and has cashback rewards on several categories of purchases. This account also makes you eligible for the GO2bank credit card, which has no annual fee or required credit check.

One significant drawback to many online-only bank accounts is that they have no way to accept cash deposits. But GO2bank accepts cash deposits at over 90,000 Green Dot locations nationwide. However, participating retailers may charge you a fee.

If you direct deposit over $500, your monthly maintenance fee of $5.00 is waived. And, they offer a pretty sweet overdraft protection program, but it has a gotcha charge of $15 if you don’t replace the funds within 24 hours.

Account-holders will appreciate the ability to budget their money with the help of a mobile app, budgeting tools, and a savings vault. In fact, they pay 1% on all money in the saving vault up to $5,000.

Get a GO2bank account

Great Southern Bank
Great Southern Bank logoIf you’re like thousands of other Americans and have a rocky history with banking institutions, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things. With Great Southern Bank’s Second Chance Checking account, you can rebuild credibility while enjoying a lot of the perks that come with a traditional checking account.

You can open a Second Chance Checking account by depositing $25 and paying the $10 monthly service fee. This checking account doesn’t require any minimum balance to be maintained, and there are no extra fees charged for not meeting it. You’ll receive a free debit card and have access to mobile banking, although the Bill Pay option is not included for Second Chance accounts.

After 60 days of maintaining a positive balance and meeting a few requirements, like taking a series of online financial classes, you can discuss changing your account type with Great Southern Bank. For more information or to sign up for a Second Chance Checking account, visit Great Southern Bank in Newton, Iowa.

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Greater Iowa Credit Union
Greater Iowa Credit Union offers their Fresh Start Checking account to those who have a less-than-perfect checking history. Although this account has some restrictions, it costs less than most second chance accounts we’ve come across.

With Fresh Start Checking, there is no required opening deposit and the monthly maintenance fee is a low $5 each month. This account does not come with mobile check deposit services, but it does offer online banking, free eStatements, and unlimited check writing capabilities. It’s also important to note that there is a $500 daily limit on your debit card.

Greater Iowa CU offers membership to anyone who has a connection to one of 33 eligible counties in Iowa. You can also join depending on your employer or if you are a relative of a current member. You can find convenient branches located in Ames, Ankeny, Denison, Greater Des Moines, Indianola, and Waukee. Visit their website or stop by a branch to see if you qualify!

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GTE Financial
Go Further from GTE Financial helps put you on the path to a better checking account. If you don’t qualify for a traditional account, the Go Further account will help you get there in as little as 12 months. We consider this a low-cost second chance checking. As long as you make a total deposit of $500 for the month, opt to receive eStatements and make 15 monthly transactions, the $9.95 maintenance fee is waived.

GTE Financial is one of the largest credit unions in the US. Membership is open to anyone through easy requirements and an online application process. The Go Further account includes:

  • Free EMV-equipped debit card with built-in rewards
  • Online and mobile banking tools
  • Free bill pay service
  • Easy money transfers through the Popmoney service

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Hills Bank and Trust Company
Rather than using ChexSystems, Hills Bank and Trust Company relies on a credit report to determine if applicants are eligible for a checking account. As long as there aren’t too many negative entries and your credit score is at least 580, you should be able to get an account.

Out of their eight checking account options, we think Free Checking is the most straightforward and easiest to manage. This account is truly free – meaning there is no required opening deposit, no monthly service fees, and no balance requirements. You will also get the necessities with this account like online banking, a debit card, and digital wallet capabilities.

Hills Bank and Trust Company has branches located mostly in eastern Iowa. You can find them in Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Hills, Iowa City, Lisbon, and several other cities. To get an account, you can either apply online or visit a branch nearest you!

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Home State Bank
If you have had issues in the past with ChexSystems banks but your credit report has remained somewhat healthy, Home State Bank may be a good option for you. They use a credit report in lieu of ChexSystems when you apply for a checking account.

Out of their several different checking accounts, we recommend $mart Rewards Checking. This account requires a $100 opening deposit and will charge a $5 monthly service fee if your average balance is less than $500. We like this account because it refunds you a few dollars each month just for using your debit card! You can also sign up for credit monitoring services to help you stay up to date on your finances.

Home State Bank has one main office located in Jefferson. You can contact them or stop by the branch to open an account.

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Iowa Falls State Bank
Iowa Falls State Bank is another option for those who have an intact credit report. Rather than using ChexSystems, they will refer to your credit report and require two forms of ID. As long as there aren’t too many negative entries on your report and one of your forms of ID is government-issued, you should be good to go.

If you’re looking for an account that avoids those pesky monthly service fees and still includes bonus features, we recommend their Simple Checking account. You can avoid the $2 monthly service fee if you enroll in eStatements.

To apply for an account, you will need to visit one of their branches in Iowa Falls or Williams. Stop by the location nearest you today to take a step towards re-establishing yourself in the banking system.

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Iowa State Bank & Trust Company
Rather than using ChexSystems during the application process, Iowa State Bank & Trust Company looks at a credit report. They don’t necessarily look for a particular score, but rather the overall health of your credit history.

Out of the different checking accounts they offer, we recommend Eco Checking if you want the basics with no fees or excessive requirements. Eco Checking doesn’t include any monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements. However, it’s important to note that there is a $100 minimum opening deposit.

Iowa State Bank & Trust Co is based in Fairfield, Iowa. Visit one of their branches in Fairfield to apply or open an account in minutes on their website!

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Keystone Savings Bank
Keystone Savings Bank will not view your ChexSystems report when you apply for an account. Instead, they will utilize Telecheck and pull a credit report to determine if you’re eligible. As long there aren’t too many negative entries, there is a good chance you will get an account.

They offer a traditional checking account called Economy Checking that doesn’t have any monthly service fees if you sign up for eStatements. You will also receive a free debit card and get access to online and mobile banking. All that is required to get started is at least $100 for the opening deposit.

They have an application for Economy Checking on their website, or you can apply in person at one of their locations in Keystone, Marengo, Center Point, Pleasant Hill, or Victor.

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Lili | Quick Approval Small Business Banking
Lili was custom made for freelancers and independent contractors who are operating as sole proprietors and single member LLCs and we really like their offering. Lili aims to approve most accounts within 2-3 days, but some accounts are approved in 2-3 hours.

Lili offers a checking account and Visa debit card with no initial deposit or minimum balance requirement, no hidden fees, no credit check, and no ChexSystems. Lili makes getting your account easy!

Lili at a Glance

  • FREE business VISA debit card
  • FREE (and very user-friendly) mobile app
  • NO minimum balance
  • NO NSF charges or fees
  • NO credit check or ChexSystems
  • NO fees for incoming wire transfers
  • Receive direct deposit funds 2 days earlier than many banks
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Unlimited fee-free transactions
  • Takes 3 minutes to apply

Application Process

You can set up an account online. If you’re a freelancer, you should receive approval and account access almost instantly. All others (Sole Proprietor, Single-Member LLC, Multi-Member LLC, General Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership, or S Corp) can take a couple of days to get approved. You can fund your account using a mobile check deposit, direct deposit, ACH transfer, or by linking your Venmo, PayPal, or Cash App account.

Lili is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Sunrise Banks N.A., Member FDIC.

Open a Lili account now!

Marine Credit Union
If you have a negative history with ChexSystems as well as a less-than-perfect credit report, Marine Credit Union offers a solution. They pull a TransUnion credit report when you apply, but also offer the My Marine Checking account to those who don’t qualify for a traditional account.

Credit Builder Checking is extremely affordable with only a $5 monthly service charge and a $55 opening deposit requirement. You will also get unlimited ATM access, online banking with bill pay, and a debit card. They also have several helpful articles on their website that can provide some valuable insight on how to build and manage your credit.

To become a member of Marine CU, you can visit their website to get started or one of their Iowa branches located in Davenport, Decorah, and West Des Moines.

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MBT Bank
Instead of referring to your ChexSystems report, MBT Bank pulls an Equifax credit report to determine if you’re eligible. If everything checks out, they have a few different checking options to choose from. If you prefer a low cost account with all the basics, we recommend GoEasy Checking.

This account requires a steep $100 opening deposit, but is fairly affordable beyond that. The $7 monthly service fee can be waived if you maintain a minimum balance of $100 or more. You will also get access to online banking, mobile check deposit, and a debit card for everyday purchases.

MBT Bank is Iowa-based and has branches located in Forest City, Lake Mills, and Clear Lake. Visit a branch nearest you to get started!

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Midland Credit Union
Midland Credit Union is another example of a credit union that utilizes a credit report in lieu of ChexSystems when you apply for a checking account. Rather than looking for a specific credit score, they review the overall health of your report.

They offer their Midland Difference Checking account that has no monthly service fees. We like this account because it gives you the opportunity to earn dividends on balances greater than $500! In addition, you will also be provided with the necessities such as free eStatements, a debit card with fraud protection, and access to online banking.

There are a few requirements in order to become a member of Midland Credit Union. You can join if you live or work in one of 18 eligible Iowa counties or if you work for an authorized employee group. Visit their website or stop by one of their branches in Urbandale or Pleasant Hill to see if you are eligible!

Learn More Fresh Account
It’s a tall order to “Make People Happy” when it comes to banking, but that’s the stated mission behind

Powered by Liberty Savings Bank (established in 1889!), the Fresh account does use ChexSystems, but as long as you don’t have more than 3 charge-offs totaling $1,000 or reports of fraud approval rates are very high. Fees for the account include a $9 monthly service fee and a $10 overdraft fee. Fresh Account at a Glance

  • $0 initial deposit to open account
  • Send and receive money with Zelle®
  • Access your account with your phone or computer
  • When coupled with a free savings account, earn up to 5.00% APY
  • Optional ability to round up charges and stash the cash into savings
  • Get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposit
  • Access to over 55,000 fee-free ATMs

Apply for a Fresh Account Today!

Navy Federal Credit Union
No matter your banking past, Navy Federal Credit Union offers traditional checking for all members in Alabama and across the US. With no review requirements of your banking history, NFCU is an excellent choice for active duty or retired US military, family members and government contractors. There are two banking choices to choose from: Active Duty Checking and Free eChecking.

Both account options come with a free NFCU debit card. There is no monthly service fee with direct deposit. Your account is protected from overdrafts with free savings transfers, a checking line of credit or an optional overdraft protection service. You also receive:

  • Free mobile deposits
  • Free bill pay
  • Free traditional name-only checks
  • Dividends credited monthly

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North Iowa Community Credit Union
North Iowa Community Credit Union offers a true second chance account specifically for those who have been turned down for a checking account in the past. Their Fresh Start Debit account has no minimum balance requirement and has a low monthly service fee of $8.

We like this account because it will not allow you to overdraw your account. By removing check writing abilities, there’s less of a chance you will overspend and have to pay expensive overdraft fees. You will also get a free debit card and receive access to online banking.

If North Iowa Community CU sounds like a good fit for you, contact one of their branches in Mason City to join the credit union and apply for an account!

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NorthOne | No Credit Check Business Account
NorthOne is a digital bank built specifically for businesses with 1-10 employees. In addition to dramatically streamlining the application process, NorthOne offers a business checking account with no credit check.

NorthOne Business Banking at a Glance

  • NO minimum monthly balance requirement
  • NO monthly fees
  • NO NSF fees
  • NO ACH transfer fees. Highest ACH limits of any digital bank
  • NO credit check or ChexSystems
  • FREE access to over 40,000 ATMs nationwide for cash deposits and withdrawals
  • FREE integrations with over 100+ popular tools
  • FREE perks and discounts on SMB software – over $5,000 in value
  • FREE bill payment software (replaces
  • FREE sales and revenue analytics software

Read More

Banking Services

NorthOne doesn’t have any recurring fees or require a minimum account balance. The account includes all business basics: ACH payments, wire transfers, bill pay, debit card usage, mobile check deposits, and transfers. The only fee is $15 for wire transfers. You can even send a physical check straight from your phone for just $1, and NorthOne will print and mail it for you.

NorthOne also has access to faster money movement through connecting to the Same Day ACH and Real-Time Payments network, the latter allows deposits from popular payment processors (Amazon, Paypal) to clear immediately.

Financial Automation

Layered on top of the bank account, NorthOne offers 3 powerful financial automation products. First, they offer a full invoice and bill payment automation, where you send your bills and invoices directly to NorthOne, NorthOne uses AI to extract everything you need to pay and to whom and sets up the payment for one-tap approval.

Second, they offer revenue and sales analytics, where you can connect to the e-commerce or POS tools you use and see your gross revenue, transaction volume, and cost of returns in every one of your accounts, in real-time.

Third, they offer integrations with hundreds of third-party apps including Paypal, Stripe, Square, Etsy, Shopify, Airbnb, Amazon, Venmo, Toast, Uber, Lyft, Quickbooks, FreshBooks, Wave, Expensify, and many more. You can sync transaction details, collect payments, see and pay invoices, send payroll, pay contractors, and more through these integrations.

Application Process

NorthOne approves accounts within one to two business days. Information required to open an account includes name, address, and social security number or tax identification number. If applicable, NorthOne may ask for a copy of your business license and business formation documents. After you’re approved, you’ll need to make a $50 minimum opening deposit.

In our opinion, the NorthOne no credit check business bank account is one of the most competitive business bank accounts for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Open a NorthOne account today!

North Star Community Credit Union
North Star Community Credit Union does not use ChexSystems, but rather a credit report to determine eligibility. As long as everything checks out with your credit report, you should be able to obtain an account.

Their general Share Draft Checking account doesn’t have a minimum balance and has an extremely low monthly service charge of $3.21. We like this option because it pays you monthly dividends on your account balance! You will also receive a free ATM card or debit card as well as 50 free checks.

To become a member at North Star Community CU, you will need to live or work in one of their 14 eligible Iowa counties. To see if you are eligible, visit their website or contact one of their branches located in Cherokee, Ida Grove, or Sheldon.

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R.I.A. Federal Credit Union
R.I.A. Federal Credit Union utilizes your credit report in lieu of ChexSystems, Telecheck, or EWS. If your credit report doesn’t show too many negative entries, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to get an account.

Out of their several different account options, we like Basic Checking the best. This account is a simple, low-cost way to manage your money. With a low opening deposit of $25, you will get access to online banking with bill pay as well as a MasterCard debit card. You also have the ability to write 40 checks per month free of charge.

R.I.A. FCU offers membership to anyone who lives or works within 30 miles of their Iowa branch locations in Davenport or Wilton. You can also join if you work for one of their select employee groups or are a relative of a current member.

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River Community Credit Union
Instead of ChexSystems, River Community Credit Union will refer to a credit report to determine if you’re eligible for a checking account. As long as there aren’t too many negative entries, you should be able to open one of their general Share Draft Checking accounts.

This account provides all the necessities for everyday spending. They offer a Visa Debit/ATM card for no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. This account is truly a no-frills checking option that doesn’t offer any unnecessary benefits or overcomplicated requirements.

To get started, you can apply for membership to River Community CU on their website or visit their only located on Ottumwa.

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Varo Bank
Varo Bank is another internet-only bank with services based on their mobile apps for Apple and Android devices. Varo doesn’t charge fees at 55,000+ Allpoint ATMs and offers strong budgeting tools and automatic savings programs.

Opening an account is easy and Varo doesn’t check your credit or use ChexSystems. Varo doesn’t even require an initial deposit to open an account, either. There are never any monthly maintenance fees, account balance minimums, overdraft fees, foreign transaction fees, transfer fees, or debit card replacement fees.

Varo’s recent bank charter has them innovating more than ever. They have a very strong cashback program, a payroll advance option, and have started to offer their customers a secured credit card called Varo Believe.

Finally, if Varo receives a payroll notification before your payday, it can deposit your money more quickly than many banks.

Learn More

Walmart MoneyCard
Want to earn cash back on Walmart purchases – up to $75 each year? Then you might love the Walmart MoneyCard.

It’s a debit card that has some strong features such as cashback on Walmart purchases, overdraft protection, interest on your savings, and a mobile app that lets you track your purchases and deposit funds into your account.

Walmart MoneyCard at a Glance

  • Easy approval: no ChexSystems or credit check
  • No initial deposit is required and there are no monthly minimums
  • Deposit cash for free at any Walmart store and it shows up 10 minutes later
  • Deposit checks using the Walmart MoneyCard smartphone app
  • Easily request multiple cards for family use1
  • Manage your account from your computer or the smartphone app
  • 3% cashback on purchases, 2% cashback for Walmart fuel stations, and 1% cash back for use in-store2
  • Earn 2.00% APY on money you set aside in a free savings account3
  • With qualifying direct deposits4, you can opt-in and enjoy overdraft protection of up to $200 on eligible purchases5
  • No monthly fee when you direct deposit $500+ in the previous monthly period. Otherwise, there’s a $5.94 monthly fee.6

The Walmart MoneyCard is available in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Open an account today!

Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo changed the Opportunity Checking account to Clear Access Banking. And we like one change, in particular. Wells Fargo has done away with overdraft and non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees. Clear Access Banking is a debit card-only account (no paper checks available) and if you attempt to purchase something without sufficient funds, the transaction will be denied. That’s a lot better than having the transaction approved and then discovering you’ve been hit with a $35 overdraft fee.

There is a $5 monthly fee, but that is be waived for account holders 24 years old and younger. This account is available to residents in all 50 states.

  • The largest number of branches in the U.S.
  • Minimum deposit of $25 to open an account
  • Online bill pay and smartphone app
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Includes a Visa debit card
  • Send and receive money through Zelle
  • Additional features include account alerts, 24/7 fraud monitoring, and zero liability protection for your debit card

Learn More

White State Bank
White State Bank does not use ChexSystems, so if you only have a negative record with ChexSystems you should be able to get an account. They offer three different checking account options with their Basic Checking account being the simplest.

With Basic Checking you won’t have to worry about an initial deposit requirement. Plus, if you keep your balance above $100, the $5 service fee will be waived. This account includes unlimited free deposits, a debit card, and online banking access. It is important to note that after the first 20 transactions each month, there will be a $0.25 fee for each excess transaction.

White State Bank is Iowa-based and has one location in South English. Visit their branch to get started with an account!

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Citibank Access Checking
The Citi® Access Checking account is a solid option if you’ve been blacklisted by ChexSystems or Early Warning Systems. As long as you haven’t been flagged for fraudulent behavior and don’t owe Citibank an outstanding amount, approval rates for this account are good.

There are no monthly service fees for the first 3 months after opening the account. The $5 monthly service fee can easily be waived after that time by depositing at least $250 per month.

We also like that there are no overdraft or returned item fees because if you don’t have enough money in your account, the item will be returned.

Citibank Access Checking at a Glance

  • 65,000+ fee-free ATMs
  • Send money to almost anyone with a U.S.-based bank account through Zelle®
  • No overdraft or NSF fees
  • $5 monthly fee can be waived with $250 in qualified direct deposits
  • $0 liability for unauthorized charges
  • Available in all 50 states and Washington DC
  • No minimum opening deposit

Learn More

Capital One 360 Checking
The Capital One 360 Checking Account uses a proprietary approval process that does not include ChexSystems and might be a solid option for those who have had past financial challenges.

Available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Capital One acts more like an online bank than one with over 400 branches in a few states. Its highly-rated smartphone app gives customers full control of their account and you can access everything from a computer, too.

Capital One 360 Checking at a Glance

  • No opening deposit is required
  • No monthly or annual fees
  • No minimum balance and no overdraft fees
  • Add cash to your account at CVS® locations.
  • No-fee access to over 70,000 ATMs nationwide
  • No foreign transaction fees when traveling abroad
  • Deposit checks and pay bills with the smartphone app
  • Send and receive money with Zelle®
  • Early direct deposit feature
  • Monitor your credit score with Capital One’s CreditWise feature
  • FDIC insured account up to $250,000

How The Overdraft Feature Works

The account offers two overdraft services. The first is a free savings transfer where you link your checking account to a savings account. If you overdraw from your checking account, Capital One will cover the charge by making a transfer from your savings account.

The second option is a no-fee overdraft where the bank approves recurring debit payments, check payments, or bill pay payments even if it results in a negative balance for your account. To qualify, you’ll need to receive at least $250 in direct deposits during two of the three previous months.

Customer Service

In the era of chatbots and customer service-by-email, Capital One stands out for its personalized customer service. Once you set up an online account, you can chat 24/7 with a live customer service representative. If you want to speak with a representative on the phone, you can call between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern Time.

The website is laid out well and easy to understand. The smartphone app is also easy to navigate and has received 4.9 out of 5 stars in the Apple store and 4.6 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store.

Learn More

Did we leave your financial institution off this list of The Best No ChexSystems and Second Chance Banks and Credit Unions? Has there been a change in any of the listings? Please let us know.

Best Second Chance Banks by State

To find more information and additional options available in your area, select your state from the list below and explore your options.

Additional Chime Disclaimers:  Back to Chime Review Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC. Credit Builder card issued by Stride Bank, N.A.

1Eligibility requirements apply. Overdraft only applies to debit card purchases and cash withdrawals. Limits start at $20 and may be increased up to $200 by Chime. See

2Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM. Cash deposit or other third-party fees may apply.

3Customers are limited to three $1,000 cash deposits at Walgreens each day and $10,000 each month.

4Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.

5Sometimes instant transfers can be delayed. The recipient must use a valid debit card to claim funds. Once you are approved for a Chime Checking Account, see your issuing bank’s Deposit Account Agreement for full Pay Anyone Transfers details. Please see the back of your Chime debit card for your issuing bank. See Terms and Conditions.

6The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) for the Chime Savings Account is variable and may change at any time. The disclosed APY is effective as of September 20, 2023. No minimum balance required. Must have $0.01 in savings to earn interest.

Additional Found Disclaimers:  Back to Found Review

1Direct deposit funds may be available for use for up to two days before the scheduled payment date. Early availability is not guaranteed.

2Found is a financial technology company, not a bank. Business banking services are provided by Piermont Bank, Member FDIC. The funds in your account are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per depositor for each account ownership category. The Found Mastercard Business debit card is issued by Piermont Bank pursuant to a license from Mastercard Inc. and may be used everywhere Mastercard debit cards are accepted.

Additional Walmart MoneyCard Disclaimers:  Back to Walmart Review

1Family Accounts: Activated, personalized card required. Other fees apply to the additional account. Family members age 13 years and over are eligible. Limit 4 cards per account. See Deposit Account Agreement for details.

2Cash back, up to $75 per year, is credited to card balance at end of reward year and is subject to successful activation and other eligibility requirements. Redeem rewards using our website or app. You will earn cash back of three percent (3%) on qualifying purchases made at and in the Walmart app using your card or your card number, two percent (2%) at Walmart fuel stations, and one percent (1%) on qualifying purchases at Walmart stores in the United States (less returns and credits) posted to your Card during each reward year. Grocery delivery and pickup purchases made on or the Walmart app earn 1%. For the purposes of cash back rewards, a “reward year” is twelve (12) monthly periods in which you have paid your monthly fee or had it waived. See account agreement for details.​

3Interest is paid annually on each enrollment anniversary based on the average daily balance of the prior 365 days, up to a maximum average daily balance of $1,000, if the account is in good standing and has a positive balance. 2.00% Annual Percentage Yield may change at any time before or after account is opened. Annual Percentage Yield is accurate as of 5/15/23.

4Direct Deposit: Early availability of direct deposit depends on timing of payroll’s payment instructions and fraud prevention restrictions may apply. As such, the availability or timing of early direct deposit may vary from pay period to pay period. Make sure the name and social security number on file with your employer or benefits provider matches what’s on your Walmart MoneyCard account exactly. We will not be able to deposit your payment if we are unable to match recipients.

5Opt-in required. $15 fee may apply to each eligible purchase transaction that brings your account negative. Balance must be brought to at least $0 within 24 hours of authorization of the first transaction that overdraws your account to avoid the fee. We require immediate payment of each overdraft and overdraft fee. Overdrafts paid at our discretion, and we do not guarantee that we will authorize and pay any transaction. Learn more about overdraft protection.

6No monthly fee with qualifying direct deposit, otherwise $5.94 a month. Waived when $500+ is loaded in the previous monthly period. First monthly fee occurs upon first use, the day after card activation or 90 days after card purchase, whichever is earlier.

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