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Helping the "unbanked" get affordable financial services

According to a recent survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the U.S. Census Bureau, 17 million American adults now live in “unbanked” households, while another 51 million are considered “underbanked.”

In other words, over 28 percent of households either have no traditional checking or savings accounts (unbanked); or their basic financial needs aren’t being met by their bank or credit union so they also rely on alternative lenders like check-cashing services or payday loans (underbanked).

There have always been millions of Americans who are either unable to – or choose not to – conduct their financial transactions through a bank.

Common reasons cited include:

- Don’t have enough money to need an account

- Don’t write enough checks to justify monthly fees and minimum balance requirements; just buy money orders when needed

- Lack of proper identification

- Denied accounts due to bad banking track record

- Language barriers

- Bad previous banking experience or lack of trust in banking institutions.

Read the full column in SDGLN media partner San Diego Uptown News, HERE.