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ChadsterMD

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  1. I've got 5 of the Big Banks within a half-mile of me, and I've turned my back on them all in favor of banking through my brokerage, Scottrade. I live very close to my local Scottrade branch, and I can drop off checks for deposit, and 99% of the time, that money's available to move to my Scottrade Bank account in 2 business days, and more often than not, 1. I've only had 1 check that got held for 5 days, and that was one over $5,000. You can also mail your deposits direct to their banking arm. No fees, ATM fee reimbursement, low-cost check orders, great online bill-pay, interest on any balance over $100 (granted, not that great a rate...), no fee for incoming wires, NSF only $25 (haven't had a single one in the 15 months I've had the account.... All-in-all, I couldn't see going back to a big bank!
  2. They're my primary bank now, and I've had solid experiences so far since opening my account back in September of 2014. I live right behind a shopping center with our local Scottrade branch, so walking checks/money orders over for deposit is no problem. Typically, cashier's checks are in my account and ready for transfer to my Scottrade Bank account the next business day after I deposit them at the branch, and other deposit instruments are available for transfer within 3 business days -- for me, that's quicker than mailing in deposits to Scottrade Bank (which you can do, of course, if you'd prefer). ACH transfers are pretty quick, too -- I think the longest I've had to wait in either direction between a Scottrade and non-Scottrade account is 2 business days. I've had no complaints with their customer service in the months I've had the account, and I got my checks and debit card within 7 business days, if I recall correctly. I've had a couple of hiccups along the way, but the gents at the local branch have gone above and beyond for me when that's happened, and have managed to get things straightened out within 24 hours. Not paying any fees and having any ATM fees returned at the end of the month make for a pretty solid experience. Overall, I'd give Scottrade Bank a 4.7/5.
  3. I have 2 unpaid entries and have had the account since May.Their literature for the account does mention "less stringent" Chexsystems requirements, so I'm not exactly sure what they look at when opening the account, but I was able to open it no problem.
  4. I hope it's okay to pop a quick update about Washington Savings Bank in this thread, since it's where they're mentioned. I got an e-mail the other day from the bank notifying people who currently have the National Rewards Checking (the one a lot of people with Chex entries have been able to get) will be increasing its monthly fee for account-holders who have direct deposit from $4.95 a month to $6.95 a month. Those without direct deposit will continue to pay $7.95 a month. According to the bank's VP (I love that this bank is small enough that the VP will personally answer my customer-service inquiries!), after one year of satisfactory account use, you can get upgraded to their lower-fee ($4.95 a month) account with fewer restrictions on things like remote-check-deposit hold times or deposit limits via the smartphone app. Just didn't want people to be caught off guard if they apply for the account after reading about it here and suddenly are being charged more in fees than when they applied and think they were getting hit out of the blue. http://www.washingtonsavings.com/personal/rewards-card-checking/national-rewards-checking
  5. For E*TRADE, none that I've noticed...and I've even let my balance sit at zero for a couple months at a time. One thing I really like with E*TRADE is the instant credit of ATM cash-withdrawal fees. For Washington Savings, when I enrolled, they charged a flat $4.95/month fee. Looking at their link now, it may be that you pay $7.95 a month if you don't have direct deposit and $4.95 with direct deposit. Also, it seems new accounts can't use mobile check deposit for 3 months, and they may require you to have direct deposit to use it. Again, these are some changes after I opened my account, but they grandfathered me in on the mobile deposit, which as I said has a $500 per day limit, and they have a 5-day hold, though they've said that checks of $100 or less are available after 1 business day. Mailed deposits are available based on the published funds-availability schedule -- usually only 2 business days unless the deposits are huge.
  6. Yep, they require a $500 minimum deposit within 60 days to fund the account. To request checks and a debit card, you have to have a $1,000 balance, and then you fill out the forms in the customer service section of the website -- you don't have to maintain that $,1,000 once you've ordered the checks and debit card, though. E*Trade didn't do any sort of hard pull or anything...so if they do pull any credit, it's for a soft-pull....or, likely for a margin account. For me, it was a pretty easy process....just filled out the forms online for the brokerage account and funded my account with $1,000 via ACH. Got my checks and debit card ordered, and I really haven't had any issues with them. Their 3-day holds on check deposits isn't that horrible -- not when I know there are those out there that are upwards of 10 days! All in all, it makes a great second account for me and gives me access to higher daily card limits ($2500 in purchases, $1000 from ATMs).
  7. I know this is an older thread, but I haven't been here for awhile, but as someone who has had my fair share of issues with Chex and EWS, I understand how frustrating it can be to find an account, and now that I've found what I think are good fits for me, I wanted to chime in, too. I've been with Washington Savings Bank of Lowell, Massachusetts, since May on their National Rewards Checking, and I can't sing their praises high enough. They've always been very responsive to any customer service inquiries or questions, and I was totally impressed with how quickly they had me set up and going with my account -- like others mentioned, I applied in the morning and was approved by that afternoon -- on the Friday before Memorial Day, no less! My only real gripe about the WSB account is the low per-day limit for mobile check deposit ($500, though they will raise this over time), withdrawals at an ATM ($300), and purchases ($750). But really, that's not a total deal-breaker, since I get 98.6% of my deposits via ACH, I can get cash back at stores if I really need extra cash, and it's not very often I get handed a check that's more than $500 to deposit, or that I need to make more than $750 in purchases in one day, and if I do, I've got my E*TRADE account, which I can just request a quick wire transfer to in order to take advantage of the higher limits. The rewards aspect of the WSB account is definitely nice. For example, this month was a slow month for me with transactions, and I still managed to accrue enough in cash-back rewards to cut my monthly fee in half! As I said, I also have an E*TRADE brokerage account, and I really haven't ever had any issues with it, either, so they get decent marks from me, too, and I just keep my money split between the two, just because you never know what might happen, and I figure it's good not to have all my financial eggs in one basket. I also previously used Armed Forces Bank, but when I opened my E*TRADE account, I jumped over to it instead -- but the Armed Forces Bank folks were also quite responsive and helpful -- and they've even got a new rewards account, too, that pays 10 cents per swipe, though that didn't exist when I was their customer. All in all, I'd say there are some good nationwide options out there, and I wish everybody luck in their financial/banking futures.
  8. If anybody's still looking for an online savings account, take a look at Sallie Mae Bank: www.salliemae.com/banking I've been using them while getting other things set up, and I've had a great experience with them. Their customer service folks have been very helpful and responsive, and transfers are nice and quick. I don't know anything about their Money Market account, but their savings account that I use has worked great. No ATM card, though, so if you were in need of one of those, you might want to find another option.
  9. I went ahead and transferred all my money out of my TDAmeritrade account since it's not a lot of good to me without efficient cash-management features. I don't know what their decision to deny me check-writing privileges was based on, as I haven't seen any inquiries on my credit, and I haven't received any letters regarding that decision (I ordered my Chex report shortly before opening the account, so if I have an inquiry on there from TD, I don't know at this point...). I don't know whether to warn people about TD or not, because they didn't close the account, per se, they just didn't authorize a debit card, check-writing, or bill-pay (all as the result of a decision by TDBank, apparently -- that's all I could get out of the rep...). They happily would've let me keep trading on the account. Anyway, I just wanted to give people a heads-up about my TDAmeritrade experience, and to say thanks to those who have mentioned the national options of E*TRADE Brokerage and Armed Forces Bank, because I was able to establish myself with both of them, and I'm just awaiting the debit cards (I don't typically order checks for accounts, though the option was there for both accounts...). Thanks to this community, I feel like I'm on hopefully stable banking footing now, and will even be able to start investing a bit in my future for brighter days ahead.
  10. Well, I THINk I'm finally squared away. I hope.... I got my account established with E*Trade, and I also went ahead and applied for Armed Forces Bank, like was mentioned in another thread. It took a few days to get the account established, and there was lots of faxing and e-mailing back and forth, but I got it squared away, and got an e-mail today that the account is open. So, I'm just waiting for my debit cards for both these accounts. I'll keep my Fidelity account open, too, simply because I like a lot of the features it has, but I won't keep a ton of money in it at one time in case I'm one of the unlucky ones who get it frozen -- but I figure that way, I'll have money in a few different places, AND I can let people in the forum know if I do get frozen with Fidelity, just as a way to keep information flowing about what's going on with those accounts. I'll use my BB&T card for quick access to my school-issued checks and I'll split the rest of my money between E*Trade (for investing and earning a bit of interest, as well as ATM rebates), Armed Forces Bank (www.afbank.com -- a nationwide option open to anyone) for my main account. And keep a bit socked away in Fidelity, just as a back-up, and to keep an eye on what they're doing to people's accounts. Sorry I've had such a mixture of ups, downs, and panic in this thread...but I hope some of the things I've discovered will help other people out, because I really do wanna pay it forward.
  11. MCA, just a heads up -- I just got off the phone with the customer service folks at United Bank (bankwithunited.com), and the rep told me that in opening accounts, they run, and I'm quoting the rep here, "either Chexsystems or Telecheck...whichever one they choose." So now I'm not 100% sure about venturing by on Friday when I'm just down the road from one of the branches, because I really don't want to have to feel that in-person sinking feeling that comes when you get denied due to Chex. Has anybody had any luck with United Bank? If so, a particular branch? Currently, I have the BB&T Money Account, which makes depositing and accessing the funds from my college checks easy-peasy since they're drawn on BB&T, but still leaves me out in the cold for other things, like ACH transfers and depositing other checks. I'm concerned about my brokerage account & cash management with Fidelity due to them utilizing MSI, and possibly closing even long-standing accounts. The cash management account I had with TD Ameritrade got denied for check card and banking services, so I closed that one, also because I get lower commissions with Fidelity. I REALLY don't want to lose the Fidelity accounts, but I'm looking for backup options, just in case. I thought about SunTrust, since they're very convenient for me and offer other good financial services for getting back on track (like several secured credit card options), but I've heard they may use Chex and/or EWS. It's frustrating. I think I get settled into a good setup, and then I hit bumps or discover red flags. It's discouraging, when all I'm trying to do is get myself back on track.
  12. Okay, question regarding the various brokerage accounts that are available nationwide: which ones are safe to open if you are on Chex or EWS? I just got off the phone with TDAmeritrade, and apparently there's some sort of hitch with them and having a debit card issued, based on a decision made by TDBank. They won't, of course, tell me what it's about or what's going on...and they didn't notify me before this despite my account being open for awhile until I called. Of course, given my issues with Chex and EWS, I have a sinking feeling I know what that was about -- either that, or a credit-report based decision, though I didn't see any sort of pull from TD Bank or anything when I looked the other day. I opened one with Fidelity, and I love the speed with which Fidelity responded and issued everything, but an earlier post by MCA now has me worried to even work with this account out of fear of having it shut down, so I'm a bit wary to start putting my assets into it and using it. So I'm wondering if ETrade is a viable option (not ETrade Bank, but rather just the brokerage account that includes the debit card and all). Needless to say, after being on the phone with TDA, I feel a bit sick to my stomach and like I'm not making any steps forward here like I'd hoped.
  13. Yeah, I actually used to bank with Woodforest, but i wasn't very happy with their service -- maybe I just got unlucky with my local branch, I dunno. So, that's why I initially started looking to see what else was out there. I've finally gotten settled into some banking options that fit me pretty well, so overall, I'm happy. I'm using BB&T's MoneyAccount option to deal with my school checks, and I also have an online savings account and then a brokerage account that acts as my main checking account. Being able to stop at any ATM and not having to worry about fees is definitely nice!
  14. I think I finally have myself settled into a banking situation that's going to be most beneficial to me, and I wanna thank those in this and other threads who helped me! Just to answer a question I posed earlier about the "ClearSky Accounts" from Chesapeake Bank (Virginia), contrary to what I've seen elsewhere on the web, they DO use Chex, as I got denied because of that. I'm glad that there are lots of other great options out there for people. For me, between a brokerage account (I have one at each Fidelity and TDAmeritrade, both to see which service I like better, and to safeguard myself in case Fidelity has indeed started closing accounts due to one of its partners using Chex) and an online high-yield savings account (Sallie Mae Bank, since my student loans are serviced by them, and I can get a savings rebate), I am very well set. Thanks, everybody!
  15. I've been "window-shopping" and came across ClearSky Accounts, the online arm of Chesapeake Bank (Virginia), that offers a not-too-shabby interest rate on both their checking and savings accounts. Anybody have any experience with them? Just thought they looked kind of interesting, and thought I'd float it as another possibility if people have had good results. Any feedback? https://www.clearskyaccounts.com I ended up opening a Fidelity account, and am going to keep a very close eye on it, since people seem to be of mixed opinion on them and Chex or account closures.I've also considered TDAmeritrade -- I'm not near an office for either one of them, so distance banking/investing is going to the norm for me. Ultimately what I'd love to do is keep some money in a brokerage account in case I also decide I want to invest a little, and then keep most of my cash in high-yield checking or savings, or both, if I can find a good one.

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