Nearly half of low-income U.S. households—those making less than $15,000 a year—don’t regularly use banks. African-Americans, Hispanics and young people are also less likely to rely on banks. They’re more likely to use cash, money orders, and alternatives like payday loans and pawnshops.
In 2011, 8.2 percent of U.S. households had no bank account at all. Just over 20 percent were considered “underbanked” – meaning they held an account, but also used alternative financial providers.
Most people who don’t bank say they do not have enough money to open an account. Others say they don’t trust banks or can’t afford the service fees.
Watch our video for more on banking and those who live without it. See “What Do Others Say?” for more views, then add to the discussion below. What positives or negatives do you see in this fact? Should Americans without bank accounts be encouraged to open them?