The Unbanking of America


I recently read Lisa Servon's book, The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives. The book focuses around the altnernative finanical industry such as payday lenders, check for cash businesses, and pawn shops. According to the author, 8% of Americans do not have a bank account and an additional 20% have accounts but still utilize the alternative financial services. The main reason listed is because of fee transparency. According to Serven, indiviudals living on a very fixed income can budget all fees accordingly, and the upfront fees prevent issues such as overdrafts in traditional banking. 

I invite you to listen to Servon's interview on NPRs Podcast Fresh Air. 

Does her intformation change your ideas about alternative financial services? Do you consider these services predatory? How do you teach students about comparing traditional versus alternative financial serices? Does Servon's interview/ book change your mind about these services? 

I'd love to hear how you teach students about banking services in the financial literacy instruction. 

Kathy Tracey