A variety of companies have recently sprung up offering financing options for the underbanked or unbanked, ABC News reports.
While short term lenders are an obvious choice for many families without bank accounts due to the fact that they can receive instant cash without paying a bank fee, low-income households are now being catered to by more businesses. For example, federally chartered Self-Help Federal Credit Union recently launched Micro Branch - a hybrid check casher and credit union. It offers less costly check cashing and promotes saving money in a credit union account. Online payment company BillFloat was also recently unveiled to help families meet short-term obligations and pay for utilities. According to its site, customers don't risk the threat of late fees, overdraft charges, service termination or high interest rates by using its service. Also, umbrella union AFL-CIO recently introduced a prepaid debt card as an alternative to a traditional checking account that allows members to earn as much as 5.1 percent on account balances. The news source notes that approximately 9 million families don't have bank accounts, partly because bank branches have closed in many low-income neighborhoods.