Posted by William Charles on October 17, 2016
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on October 17th, 2016 | by William Charles

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Everything You’ve Wanted To Know About Early Warning Services (EWS)

What Is Early Warning Services?

Early Warning Services (EWS) is a specialty nationwide consumer reporting agency that focuses on deposit accounts, if you’re familiar with ChexSystems then Early Warning Services provides a similar service to ChexSystems. EWS was created by a number of large financial institutions (e.g Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Capital One & Wells Fargo) more than 25 years ago. There are now over 2,300 financial institutions that use EWS.

These financial institutions primarily use EWS to help them determine if they should approve or deny somebody for a new deposit account (similar to how credit card issuers use consumer reporting agencies Equifax, Experian & TransUnion). EWS reports are useful for this as they will contain negative information regarding an individual, such as instances of:

  • Fraud
  • Forgery
  • Check Kiting
  • And more

Another one of the uses of EWS is to authenticate you are who you say you are, this is usually done by asking a series of financial/general questions that only you’d know the answer to (e.g previous address, specific loan amounts etc).

Request Your Report

To request your free report from EWS, you need to call them on (800) 325-7775 Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.

Final Thoughts

We’ve also started compiling a list of financial institutions that do and don’t use EWS, you can view that list here. We have similar information already on the site for ChexSystems:



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Jeff
Jeff

I know Fidelity pulls Early Warning when opening a new account, and/or trying to add a new account for external EFT.

Grant

If I request my free report, do you know what type of information they will provide? Will they send me a PDF of all my information?

Don L

I don’t think they have an electronic process. My report came snail mail

Jeff H
Jeff H

I called Early Warning . They indicated they are a negative database only covering a time frame of the past five years. They asked my SSN and name … finding nothing, the call concluded. No written material will be forthcoming.

Don L

I don’t believe that I have any negative elements on my report, but received a many page “Summary File Disclosure”.

Section One is boxed “… refers to transactions related to your bank accounts” it lists things like balances over time.

Section Two is boxed “… inquiries made as a result of your opening or attempting to open a bank account. The number of these inquiries may adversely affect your consumer report”, it notes bank and inquiry date.

Section Three is boxed “entities that have accessed information about you in the last twelve months … The number of these inquiries does not negatively affect your consumer report.”

Thanks, appreciate any info you can get.

CGID
CGID

Hi Jeff. I accidentally failed to make my post a “reply” to yours, though that was my intention. Scroll down to see it below.

CGID
CGID

Hi Jeff. By a “negative database” did you sense that they meant that they would only have a record on you if a bank had reported something negative about you (e.g. a bounced check, etc.)?

That would run counter to my experience. My EWS report had no negative marks but otherwise had a good deal of info from the last few years. Several inquiries, for example, info about accounts I have opened with Chase, Wells Fargo, etc.

Have you ever opened an account with any of these banks? Wachovia, Chase, Bank of America, BB&T and Wells Fargo. They were the consortium that created EWS a while back, but it has developed other users since then.

Jeff H
Jeff H

Question: By a “negative database” did you sense that they meant that they would only have a record on you if a bank had reported something negative about you
That is what the rep on the phone told me – YES. My understanding was the lookback was five years.

I did open a BankAmerica savings account this year. There was a delay message in the automated signup to that savings account. I was never notified of any credit bureau or similar agency pull. I did get the account a day or two later and still have it tied to a BAC MLB Cash Rewards Visa.

I am planning on doing one of DoC’s best Bank deals with either Chase or Citi after the sale of a house closes later this month.

CGID
CGID

I like your plans to wait for a while before trying to pull your EWS report again. When you do, I imagine you will see a record of your BoA savings account. My BoA savings appears on my report and it lists monthly balances. Like you, I use mine as a place to park my BBR dollars. I have no checking accounts with BoA.

You write: “I was never notified of any credit bureau or similar agency pull.”

Just as an FYI… I don’t think they have to notify you. They do need to notify you of the pull if they later deny you and if the denial was based on what they saw in the CRA report. But you should expect that every bank account you open will involve at least a hard pull at EWS or ChexSystems or both and possibly a soft pull at one of the big three bureaus (EQ, TU, EX). I am not saying that this always hapens, but it usually does and it should certainly be something you expect.

CGID
CGID

The rep you spoke sounds mistaken. Don L and myself both have zero negative items on our reports, but we have other stuff: inquiries, bank accounts, etc. If the rep was right then he and I would have nothing on our reports.

If I am right that the rep was mistaken in these respects, he may well have been mistaken in saying that you had no EWS report as well. (Especially given that you have opened a deposit account with BoA.) It might be worth calling again to see if the next rep tells you the same thing.

Jeff H
Jeff H

I will wait to pursue this until after my next round of DoC’s best Bank deals with either Chase or Citi at the end of this month.

CGID
CGID

That sounds really smart, Jeff. Based on my report from EWS, it looks like both Chase and Citi appear on the report, though Chase appears in a more full blown fashion.

Chase will actually show up with the deposit account and its balances, Chase will also appear as a hard inquiry.

My Citi deposit accounts (checking and savings) were opened roughly 5 months before I pulled my EWS report report, but they did not appear on the “account list” pection (as Chase did). Citi did do a hard inquiry before the accounts were opened and that is on the report.

CGID
CGID

Don L (above) writes this: Section One is boxed “… refers to transactions related to your bank accounts” it lists things like balances over time. Section Two is boxed “… inquiries made as a result of your opening or attempting to open a bank account. The number of these inquiries may adversely affect your consumer report”, it notes bank and inquiry date. Section Three is boxed “entities that have accessed information about you in the last twelve months … The number of these inquiries does not negatively affect your consumer report.” ======== Don L is right. Let me add a little explanation of what those section are about. A good way to think about them is to compare them mentally with the layout of a credit report from one of the big three CRAs. Section 1 as Don describes it corresponds to a listing of your accounts. In your TU/EQ/EX report this would be a list of all your credit cards, installment loans, etc. Here, since this CRA focuses on banks and deposit accounts, it is a list of the bank accounts you have. Naturally some of your bank accounts may not be on here — which means those banks are not reporting your accounts to EWS. Section 2 corresponds to all of the “hard” inquiries that have been done on you. These are all the banks (CUs, etc.) that pulled your EWS report as a precondition for opening a bank account with them. You’d think that every bank in section 1 would also be in section 2, and that is generally true. The exceptions I found for me were Discover, which did its hard inquiry at ChexSystems, and BoA, which did no inquiry at either CS or EWS. Note that section 2 may have several banks in it that are not section 1 — in other words they pulled your report, but they do not report your ACCOUNT once it was opened. Section 3 contains soft pulls of your EWS report. They are worth looking at only if you see something you totally don’t recognize in it, which might suggest (I suppose) identity theft. Here are the datapoints I can contribute. SECTION 1: Banks that report the actual account (and possibly monthly balances) Bank of America Capital One Discover Chase Regions Wells Fargo SECTION 2: Hard Inquiries All banks in section 1 except (oddly) Discover PNC Citibank (Note I… Read more »

wongshen
wongshen

I met the same situation Jeff had.
I called them, the rep told me nothing found by my name and ssn.
She told me they are only “negative database”, so no report, no hard inquires.

Should I call again?

Fiby

I live in GA, if that matters. My datapoints:

Current or previous bank accounts reported to EWS:
Ally
BoA
BB&T
Capital One 360
Discover
Chase
Regions
Suntrust
Wells Fargo

Current or previous bank accounts NOT reported to EWS:
Amalgamated
Schwab
CCU
First Tennessee
Iberiabank
Mango Money (whatever their underlying bank is, I forget)
Nationwide
Northpointe
PNC
Santander
Tech CU
TIAA
UFB Direct
US Bank

Inquiries on my report
HSBC
Chase
US Bank
5/3
Chase
PNC
Suntrust
WF
BB&T

MarcoPolo
MarcoPolo

DP: Just spoke to EWS to request my consumer report. After verification they gave me three options to send my report – FAX, snail mail or email.
You can also apply online for your consumer report here
https://www.earlywarning.com/consumer-information.html

You have to enroll for secure account access and upload documents i.e. DL to get your report online.
I found it easier just to call.
Hope this helps someone.

SeanK
SeanK

Oh thank you so much! Chex was easy to do online so I was looking how to do EWS online as well but thanks to your comment I think I’ll just call.

tiwoahana
tiwoahana

Requested my “consumer report” via phone, took less than 2 minutes. They asked Name, SSN, DOB, Address and if any bank requested the report (I said a friend told me to get it). CSR said it would have last 5-7 (?) years of banking history and I could choose snail mail, email, or fax. 5 days via snail mail.

Sandra
Sandra

Ally is showing the amount of every ACH deposit, including employer’s payroll.
Any company doing a routine soft pull will see this information.
I will be closing my Ally account.

AllwaysLearning22
AllwaysLearning22

I did not even know such system existed.

Based on the rest of the comment here I also called (800) 325-7775. I was on hold for about 10 minutes, during which is pretty weird, because it keeps repeating the same message about what EWS is and how there is more information available on their web site, so I was thinking maybe this was the wrong # to call to obtain the report or their system malfunctioned or something.

Spoke to the CSR and she was pleasant and professional. It took maybe 2-3 minutes. Collected name, DOB, SSN, address and DL # and that was it. I guess everything matched.

I expect the report in the mail in a week or so and will post an update on how long it took to receive it.

azpv
azpv

AllwaysLearning22 I didn’t know about EWS either. I had the exact same experience as you. Total time I was on the phone was approx.10 min. I got the same weird repeated message as you. Once the CSR got on the line, it was fast. Name, SSN, Address, DOB, and DL#. I opted to receive the report via email. She said it would take approx 15 days. It’s much faster and easier to call via the phone. Filling out and submitting an online application is more involved and time consuming.

petitesybarite
petitesybarite

navy federal (NFCU) specfically pulls EWS and not chexsystems

Jesse
Jesse

I’m considering joining NFCU and was hoping to be safe from this privacy invasion. I know they pull EWS, but does NFCU actually report account information on an ongoing basis (ACH, monthly balance history, etc?)

IS250
IS250

How many EWS reports can we request for free? There’s no limit stated on their website (like Chex where you get 1 free report a year).

Looney Tunes
Looney Tunes

You’re right that they don’t specifically say how many you are entitled to for free but they do reference the Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and it states:

“all consumers are entitled to one free disclosure every 12 months upon request from each nationwide credit bureau and from nationwide specialty consumer reporting agencies”.

Believe you can also request one each time you’re turned down for a bank account like with Chex

Susan
Susan

Did anybody notice the disclosure in their “summary” report? Even though the summary report contains a lot of information, there appears to be a comprehensive report too.

Look at the sample “summary” report here:
https://www.earlywarning.com/downloads/sample-file-disclosure.pdf?utm_campaign=FCRA&utm_source=Consumer-Information&utm_medium=FCRA

It then reads “If you wish to receive a comprehensive report of all the information in your file, please contact Early Warning.”

I wonder what the comprehensive report will look like, since my summary report is already 20 pages.

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