Thousands of residents in Memphis, Tennessee, are "unbanked" - they don't have a bank or credit union account - and one local group is working to increase their financial literacy.
Roughly 96,000 households are unbanked in the Memphis metropolitan area, and approximately 45,000 Memphis households use short-term financing options such as car-title loans, short term loans and money orders to conduct their daily financial transactions, Memphis-based The Daily News reports. The RISE Foundation of Memphis is working to encourage more people to get their money through banks, the newspaper reports, though some Memphians say they are reluctant to do so because they've had problems with bank overdrafts or other fees. While RISE and similar groups champion the use of savings accounts and traditional banks, short-term financing remains a popular option for consumers with no bank account histories. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, approximately 9 million Americans, or 7.7 percent of all U.S. households, are unbanked. Additionally, approximately 21 million people are underbanked, or hold a bank account but rely on alternative financial services.