Are you unbanked?
Tips, Suggestions, and Steps to obtain a bank account and set up ACH, an easy way to pay!
Are you one of the 9.6 million American households who are currently unbanked?
Most people who don’t have bank accounts give a wide variety of reasons including:
- Disliking or distrusting banks
- Lack proper identification
- Like the privacy of keeping money at home
- Prefer alternative financial services convenient hours
- Believe they are blacklisted for bouncing checks or overdrawing an account.
- The top reason is related to the perceived cost of bank accounts.
Are you unbanked and feel one or more of these reasons describe you?
Many credit unions do not have the limitations to memberships that they once did. Be sure to check with a credit union regarding their current criteria. It is becoming more prevalent that credit unions use the geography of where you live, work or worship to determine membership eligibility.
Why get banked?
If you are using alternative financial services like grocery stores, retail outlets and convenience stores to cash checks or load pre-paid cards, it could be costing you up to 10% of your income. There are checking and savings accounts that can be free if direct deposit is enabled or other criteria are met. Keep your 10%!
Time is another consideration when you are unbanked. Many banks offer online banking with bill pay and deposits from your PC or smartphone. Online banking is 24 hours a day every day. There is no more sticking to lobby hours.
Consumers who have had negative experiences with banks (where accounts have been overdrawn or checks were bounced) may still open an account with a different bank that doesn’t use the Chex system. Also, they may qualify for a “Second Chance Checking” account many banks offer.
Banks are insured up to $250,000 by the FDIC. Unbanked consumers’ mattresses or coffee cans are not insured. There is a high risk of losing stashed cash at home due to theft or fire.
Banks and credit unions offer products with a reduced cost or even free to help family and individuals who are unbanked. High costs can be avoided by choosing an account that properly fits your needs and by maintaining the account responsibly.
How to get banked:
Consider the following when choosing a bank and account:
- Do I need it to be in a convenient location if I am using online banking?
- Is there an account that fits my needs that will not cost more than being unbanked? Ideally, a free account would be preferred.
- Typically it is best to avoid “overdraft protection” as it usually comes with hefty fees that can add up quickly.
Identification needed to open an account is typically a valid government ID such as a driver’s license or a passport.
According to BankOn “Bank On programs are locally-led coalitions of government agencies, financial institutions, and community organizations to help improve the financial futures of unbanked and underbanked individuals and families.”* Please visit www.joinbankon.org to find local programs, resources discussions and much more. This is an excellent resource to get your bank on!
ACH – The easy way to pay!
Are you scrambling each month to get to the bank or store to buy a money order and get it to the post office for your monthly payment?
Do you often run late and have to pay extra for faster delivery service? What if that money could be used to contribute to your savings or to paying off your debt in the program?
We recommend that you join our many clients who enjoy the convenience and peace of mind of ACH! By enrolling in ACH you can count on your payment being withdrawn from your checking or savings account each month. You can save time at the bank and money on fees and postage! You can (with 5 business days written notice from pull date) add funds to your payment to get out of debt faster!
Talk to a Customer Service representative and ask about how to enroll in ACH by calling: 1-888-377-8585 and selecting option 1.
Do You Have Questions About Setting up a Bank Account?
Comment Below And We’ll Answer Right Away!
We routinely check our articles and blog posts for new comments and make it a priority to respond quickly.
So if you need more information regarding how to choose a bank and open an account or have any other questions about your personal finances, please feel free to comment below and we’ll get back on and answer as fast as we can!