For the large amount of Americans who are underbanked - consumers who do not have traditional bank accounts or credit cards - it can sometimes seem as if financing options are limited. But borrowers who are looking for loans to make ends meet often turn to alternative finance, such as short term lending companies. Also, the emergence of prepaid credit cards provides another option. Tulsa World explains that there are many advantages for consumers who use them. Mainly, those who use prepaid cards can pay their bills if they do not have a bank account or can't normally pay with cash. The plastic products can be reloaded, allowing users to continually deposit funds onto them. They can also be used to withdraw money from ATM's, and many are FDIC insured. Issuers of prepaid credit cards have seen a recent sharp increase, as more individuals are realizing the benefits. The Nashville Ledger reports that a recent study done by Mercator Advisory Group found that in 2011, approximately $57 billion was loaded onto prepaid cards by their users. This amount is expected to rise by 42 percent in 2012, and will ultimately reach $82 billion, the research says.