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Rejected: 'I was denied a bank account!'

Forget trying to get a credit card -- some people can't even open bank accounts. These four people have been denied basic checking accounts, often because past mistakes came back to haunt them.

Overdrawn account

anthony martinez
  • Name: Anthony Martinez

I had graduated from vocational school when I was 18 or 19 and got a good engineering job, but then I got laid off and didn't have enough money to pay my bills.

I overdrew my account by $100, and then I joined the military and just left my account like that because I didn't have enough money to pay it back and I was able to get a bank account through the military.

When I was getting ready to get out of the military and transition into civilian life almost a year later, I found out my account had been closed and the amount I owed had gone from $100 to $600 with all the fees. So I tried to talk to someone at the bank to help me figure out how to get some of those fees removed, but they told me that they don't deal with that stuff after the account is closed, and they gave me a number [of the debt collection company] to call.

I tried calling the number they gave me, but they said I would need to send them a letter and that it could take three to six months to get a response. I didn't have time for that, because I really needed a bank account. I tried [applying for accounts at two other banks] and they said, 'Oh, you're on ChexSystems, we can't give you a bank account.' It put me in a lot of stress -- I didn't know what to do.

Finally, after negotiating with [the banks] this year, I paid the debt off. Then I went back to the same bank I was rejected by before, and I was able to open an account. I was so surprised. I was really afraid I would get denied again. So when I didn't, my body just felt like a feather because a huge weight was lifted.

Source: anthony martinez
  @blakeellis3 - Last updated August 17 2012 08:51 AM ET

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