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Some negative information can stay on your ChexSystems report for up to a decade, but most records won’t stay that long.
When you apply for a new checking account, the bank is likely to review some sort of banking report, such as a ChexSystems report, as an indicator of how well you’ve managed your accounts in the past. ChexSystems reports can show negative activity such as overdrafts, involuntary account closures and more from current and past accounts. Your ChexSystems report can be a factor in whether your application for a new account is approved.
But how long will this negative information follow you around? Different types of information can stay on your ChexSystems reports for different lengths of time. If you want to see exactly what information is in your ChexSystems report, you can pull a free copy every year at chexsystems.com. Here’s what to look for, and how long the information stays.
What kind of information does a checking report contain?
ChexSystems reports include information about negative activity on your accounts, including things like nonsufficient funds fees, incidents of suspected fraud, bounced checks, and certain collections accounts. The reports also show whether your negative balances have been paid.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows checking-account reporting agencies like ChexSystems to report certain negative information for up to seven years. ChexSystems only reports it for five years, while Early Warning Services — another commonly used checking-account reporting agency — reports this information for up to seven years.
Are checking reports and credit reports the same thing?
No, they’re not. Depending on the type of account you’re opening, it’s likely that one of these reports will be pulled, but checking reports contain information about your checking-account history while credit reports contain information about your history with credit and loans.
ChexSystems reports also contain a record of “inquiries,” or instances in which your ChexSystems report has been reviewed by a third party. These reviews typically happen when you apply for a new checking account or credit card, or initiate a business transaction that requires your report to be pulled.
Third-party reviews like this stay on your ChexSystems reports for up to three years. If a large number of recent inquiries are present, it can negatively impact your ChexSystems report.
A ChexSystems score is a numeric representation of the information in your checking report. ChexSystems scores range from 100 to 899, with higher scores representing a more positive checking history and a lower risk to financial institutions.
When you initiate a check-cashing transaction, information about that transaction can appear on your ChexSystems record for up to two years. This activity is actually reported to ChexSystems through another agency called Certegy, which helps businesses authorize checks and monitor for check fraud.
As with ChexSystems reports, you can pull your Certegy report for free once a year or if information in the report has been used to deny your application for a new account. If you’d like to know what’s in your Certegy report, you can request a free copy by calling 1-800-237-3826.
ChexSystems reports include a section that notes your negative public records, including liens, evictions and bankruptcies. Like most other negative information on your ChexSystems reports, the record of paid liens and evictions can stay on for seven years. Bankruptcies, however, can remain on both your credit reports and your ChexSystems reports for up to 10 years.
If you’re unable to open an account because of the information in your ChexSystems report, you still have banking options. And you can view your ChexSystems report to see if there’s inaccurate information to dispute and try to remove.
In the meantime, consider asking if your financial institution offers second-chance checking that you can take advantage of while you’re working to rebuild a healthy checking record.