08/10/2010 - Robin Aase, 49, of Santa Clarita, Calif., says the economic downturn has forced her family to live from paycheck to paycheck. That means she can't afford unexpected expenses, such as the $33 overdraft fee her bank charged for a debit card purchase that exceeded her balance by $2.18. She admits she was at fault, but says that was a lot of money to pay for an iced tea.
Aase still has a small amount of money left in her bank account, but she now cashes her check at a check-cashing store and pays all her bills with cash. Her son and daughter are considering abandoning their bank accounts, too, she says.
Unbanked and underbanked consumers are also less likely to save, says Eleni Constantine, director of the Pew Health Group's Financial Services Portfolio. In a survey of low-income Los Angeles households, Pew found that more than twice as many consumers who had bank accounts said they were earning enough to pay their bills and save for the future than those who didn't have bank accounts.
Read the article Many Shun Bank Accounts but Pay More for Financial Services in its entirety on the USA Today Web site.
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information visit the Safe Banking Opportunities Project on PewHealth.org.