Alabama Second Chance Banks & Credit Unions

Having a poor credit score is never a reason to join an unbanked community. Many banks do screen your banking history but don’t reject your application if you have a low credit score or records with ChexSystems and other credit reporting agencies.

In Alabama, there are a lot of banks and credit unions for bad credit that have special offers for customers experiencing temporary financial difficulties. With them, you will get an opportunity to manage your finances, use a debit card, withdraw cash and feel quite comfortable without paying high fees.

Bank OZK Personal Checking Account

Bank OZK offers Personal Checking. It is a program that includes several checking accounts. You can make a choice and open an account online or in person.

You can apply for an account by filling out a form available on an official website. The Personal Checking Account is easy to apply for even if you have bad credit and a very low credit score.

Fees and benefits:

  • Initial opening balance - $50
  • Monthly maintenance fee - $10
  • Bank OZK Visa Debit Card – free
  • Check writing – unlimited
  • Award-winning online and mobile banking
  • Online Bill Pay

Bank OZK is often called a perfect second chance solution for customers living in Alabama. It has a branch in Geneva (515 South Commerce Street, Geneva, Alabama 36340).


Important to know

Opening a Personal Checking Account with Bank OZK requires an initial balance of $50, but after that you are not required to maintain any specific amount of money. In other words, you can withdraw all your money without any penalties or fees.

Central State Bank Personal Basic Checking

Central State Bank doesn’t use ChexSystems and welcomes customers with bad credit.

Regardless of your credit score, you can apply for a Personal Basic Checking which is an account designed for everyone:

  • Initial opening deposit - $100
  • Monthly maintenance fee - $0
  • eStatements - $0
  • Free online banking
  • Free mobile banking
  • Free debit card

Also, you can apply for another account which is called CLASSIC 55 Checking. It is designed for customers who are 55 years old or older. The most important feature is the ability to earn interest.


Important to know

“Enjoy banking again”, reads the home page of the Central State Bank website. Thus, this bank can without a doubt be called a second chance option for clients with bad credit.

Community Bank & Trust Second Slice Checking

Community Bank & Trust offers the Second Slice Checking Account designed for customers with bad credit history and low credit scores. It doesn’t use ChexSystems and is often called a second chance bank.

Fees and rates:

  • Initial opening deposit - $100;
  • Check writing – unlimited;
  • Direct deposits;
  • Online banking;
  • Mobile banking;
  • eStatements;
  • Image Statements;
  • Free debit card.

In addition, Community Bank & Trust offers other checking accounts. They are:

  • Checking Plus for those customers who want to earn interest by keeping money for some time;
  • Golden Apple Checking – you get free Golden Apple checks and a safe deposit box discount;
  • Heroes Checking – free personalized checks, check writing (unlimited), free Wire Transfers, and other extras.

If you are looking for a savings account, there is a Personal Savings Plan designed for customers with bad credit.


Important to know

The bank has a branch in Alabama which has a 5-star review with Google Maps. Location: Address: Union Springs, AL 36089.

First National Bank First Free Checking

It’s hard to find a review of banks for bad credit in the United States that doesn’t mention First National Bank. The reason is that it offers a well-known and widely used First Free Checking Account. It can be called a second chance option for customers with a low credit score and bad banking history. The bank states that this account is designed for everyone.

  • Initial opening deposit - $50
  • Minimum balance requirement - $0
  • Monthly maintenance fee - $0
  • Overdraft privilege (up to $700)
  • Free Bill Pay
  • Check writing – free
  • Free Debit Card
  • Free online banking
  • Free mobile banking including Mobile Deposit

With this account, you can buy back your unused checks from other financial institutions, get free access to ATMs included in the Community Cash network.

Be careful, though overdraft privilege may seem like something useful, you should pay attention to whether or not you are using your own money. Borrowing money using overdraft privileges is not something you should strive for.


Important to know

There are two branches of First National Bank in Alabama. You can find them in Athens and Huntsville.

Renasant Bank Checking Account

Renasant Bank offers a Renasant Checking Account as long as you don’t owe it any money. The bank doesn’t use ChexSystems and is known as a second chance bank across the United States.

  • Initial opening deposit - $50
  • Monthly maintenance fee - $10 (can be avoided if you maintain a daily balance of at least $1,000
  • Check writing – unlimited
  • Online Bill Pay
  • Free Renasant online banking
  • Mobile banking solutions

In case you are switching banks, ask a bank representative about the so-called Switch Kit which makes it easier to find your nearest Renasant bank location.

Also, a Renasant Checking Account comes with a free Renasant Debit Mastercard:

  • Zero Liability protection (as a cardholder you are not responsible for unauthorized transactions)
  • Mastercard ID Theft Protection (this feature alerts you about all possible identity theft)
  • Extended Warranty Insurance
  • Satisfaction Guarantee
  • 3-D Secure (another level of fraud protection for online shopping)
  • Pay Your Way
  • Mastercard Automatic Billing Updater

Important to know

Renasant bank is quite popular in Alabama. It has many branches in different parts of the state.

United Bank

United Banks offers 10 different personal checking plans. You can apply online or in person. Not all of them are designed for customers with bad credit, so you can apply for a Gateway Checking Account. It is designed for three types of customers:

  • With low credit
  • With no credit
  • Who have ever had issues with managing their accounts at another bank

Gateway Checking Account fees and rates:

  • Monthly maintenance fee - $10
  • Online Bill Pay - $4.95 per month
  • $10 fee if the account is closed within six months of opening
  • 24/7 phone service
  • 24/7 account alerts
  • Check writing

Pay attention, you can get a debit card, but it is not offered with this account.

The Gateway checking account is presented as ‘a gateway option’ to banking services. With proper management, it can be upgraded to a regular option. On average it takes six months.


Important to know

United Bank has branches in Spanish Fort, Silverhill, Flomaton, Semmes, Lillian, and other places of Alabama. It is widely recognized and heavily used in this state.

West Alabama Bank

West Alabama Bank is a regional financial institution that has been serving customers for over 75 years.

The Fresh Start Checking Account is designed for customers who have been turned down by other banks. With it, you will enjoy managing your money and avoid high check-cashing fees.

Fees and rates:

  • Initial opening deposit - $100;
  • Monthly maintenance fee - $10;
  • Online Bill Pay;
  • E-statements,
  • Online Banking;
  • Mobile Money feature.

If you establish yourself as a reliable customer, you will be able to upgrade your account to other services:

  • E-Plus Checking – manage your money and earn a great interest (initial opening deposit - $25, mobile banking, debit card, Bill Pay, and other features)
  • Direct One Checking – no minimum balance requirement, mobile banking, debit card, Bill Pay
  • Select Gold Account – initial opening deposit - $100; monthly maintenance fee - $8 (if daily balance is less than $100) mobile banking, free Select Gold Checks
  • Spirit Checking - initial opening deposit - $25, no minimum balance requirement, free Spirit checks, mobile banking, debit card, online Statements
  • Prestige Money Market Account – minimum opening deposit - $2,000, mobile banking, free Prestige Checks, 3-tiered interest rates

West Alabama bank can be called a client-oriented company. With it, you can start rebuilding your history, open a savings account, apply for home loans.


Important to know

West Alabama Bank has many locations in Alabama. They can be found in Butler, Carrollton, Millport, Fayette, Gordo, Livingston, and other towns.

Top 4 Credit Unions for Bad Credit in Alabama

Alabama Credit Union

Alabama Credit Union is a local credit union for everyone who lives in Alabama and is looking for alternatives to banks. You can get a credit card, open a savings account, apply for a loan. The Value Checking Account is designed for customers looking for the most basic checking account.

  • Monthly maintenance fee - $4
  • Mastercard Debit Card (no fees for debit transaction at ACU operated ATMs)
  • Overdraft protection line of credit
  • ACU OOPS! Pay Complete (the company claims it strives to pay your overdrafts, regardless of the way they were created)
  • Free withdrawals at over 30 thousand ATMs
  • Electronic Bill Pay – free

You can avoid paying a monthly maintenance fee if you are older than 55 or younger than 23.


Important to know

Alabama Credit Union has dozens of positive reviews on Google Maps.

Avadian City Credit Union

Avadian City Credit Union offers an e-Checking Account that is designed for customers who have bad credit and poor banking history.

No need to worry if you have records with credit reporting agencies, a low credit score, or no credit at all. This account will help you take control of your financial situation and enjoy online and offline shopping with a free Visa debit card.

Fees and rates:

  • Minimum balance requirement - $0
  • Debit card transactions – no limitations
  • Fee-free withdrawals from Avadian ATMs and CO-OP network ATMs

Avadian City Credit Union works with credit reporting agencies but rarely rejects applications. The monthly maintenance fee depends on your banking history. There is no way to know this figure before your application is approved but the credit union promises it is always low.

Avadian City Credit Union has many positive reviews, from various discussion boards to blogs and other online communities. It has an ‘A’ health rating on DepositAccounts.


Important to know

After your application is approved, you can apply for a Centsible Savings Plan designed for customers with bad credit looking for an easy way to save and invest.

Azalea City Credit Union

Azalea City Credit Union is a non-ChexSystems financial institution that does not pay too much attention to your past banking history. The Opportunity Draft Account is designed for customers looking for a fresh start.

With it, you enjoy fast approval, cash withdrawals, and easy money management and bill-paying services. Other features:

  • Initial balance requirement - $0
  • Free Debit card
  • E-Statements - $0
  • Online alerts - $0
  • Free Azalea City Credit Union Rewards Program
  • The monthly maintenance fee depends on a variety of factors. You will know its size once your application is approved

In most cases, you will be quite satisfied with the Opportunity Draft Account. Other options are Classic Draft Account, Regular Share Savings, Club Accounts, Classic Dividend Draft Account. Also, you can open an IRA including Roth IRA.


Important to know

Azalea City Credit Union has several branches in Alabama and many positive reviews on the Internet.

Family Security Credit Union

Family Security Credit Union is a financial institution serving a variety of customers including those who have bad banking history and low credit scores.

The Give Me A Break Checking Account is designed to help customers rebuild their history.

Fees and rates:

  • Initial balance requirement - $0
  • Monthly maintenance fee - $10
  • Budgeting and financial management packet
  • 24/7 phone support.

Customers like security, an easy-to-use mobile app, convenient locations around Alabama, and other features. ‘My FSCU’ app for Android devices has an overall rating of 4.7 with Google Play Store.


Important to know

In case of good standing for 12 months, your account may be reviewed and upgraded to a regular checking account.

Bottom Line

The banks and credit unions for bad credit mentioned in this review will help you manage your finances. Some of the accounts are designed to help you rebuild your history.

Pay attention to all fees, overdraft protection, monthly maintenance fee, never forget about financial discipline. With proper management and a focus on rebuilding your history, there is a good chance that in 6 or 12 months you will be eligible to apply for a regular checking account with any bank or credit union.

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