September 23, 2013
Financial Options for People Without Bank Accounts
What are the risks associated with being unbanked? What are the financial options for those who are unbanked?
Millions of Americans don't use a bank or credit union to conduct routine financial transactions. Instead, they opt for alternatives like money transfer services, check-cashing stores and payday loans.
But fees for these services can quickly add up. Plus, it's risky to be unbanked. For example, carrying or storing excessive cash tempts robbers and is far more easily lost. It's also more difficult to improve your credit score without tapping credit-building products like credit cards and other loans.
Many programs are being formed by partnerships between government, nonprofit and private organizations to provide free or low-cost starter bank accounts and access to financial education.
Bottom line: There's no law against going unbanked - just beware of the financial and safety consequences.
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