Do banks have the right to refuse to open an account for you because of your credit score?

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Do banks have the right to refuse to open an account for you because of your credit score?

In the late 80’s I had a business account with trust company. For some reason Ihad an overdraft on my account( it was very small). I closed the account and I never paid the overdraft. Now, every time I go try to open an account they refuse. What are my options? Also, credit score is pretty low.

Asked on November 14, 2010 under General Practice, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, banks can refuse to open an account for someone they believe is risk for someone. Banks are businesses, not arms of the government (even if they are regulated and bailed out by the government); as private businesses, they have substantial discretion to not do business that they believe is unprofitable or risky--such as giving an account to someone who previously had defaulted on an overdraft. You should try other banks; you should also try to raise your credit score, such as by taking secure credit cards, using them modestly, and paying them promptly. If you do a few web searches, you should be able to find alot of advice on how to raise your credit scores. Good luck.


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