Without a checking account, the most basic financial tool, unbanked families are hard-pressed to build savings and assets, and to respond to emergencies.
How many are unbanked or underbanked?
More than a quarter of U.S. households rely on alternative financial services to manage their money, according to 2009 data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
The statistics are startling:
- 7.7 percent of U.S. households are unbanked (without a checking or savings account)
- 17.9 percent of U.S. households are underbanked (may have a checking or savings account but still use costly alternative financial services)
- 43 percent of households with a yearly income below $30,000 are either unbanked or underbanked.
How does this affect our community?
Families without a checking or saving account:
- Can’t save for the future, establish credit or access asset-building instruments such as loans for a car, small business or home mortgage
- Are more likely to have their money stolen
- Don’t have a safe way to access their money when an emergency occurs, such as a fire or flooding at their home