Unbanked and Underbanked in the US
About 5 percent of adults in 2017–or 13 million people–do not have a checking, savings, or money market account (often referred to as the “unbanked”). The fraction who are unbanked is down from 7 percent in 2016 and 8 percent in 2015.30 Half of the unbanked used some form of alternative financial service during 2017–such as a check cashing service, money order, pawn shop loan, auto title loan, paycheck advance, or payday loan. In addition, 18 percent of adults are “underbanked”: they have a bank account but also used an alternative financial service product (figure 15). The fraction who are underbanked is down from 19 percent in 2016 and 21 percent in 2015. The remaining three-quarters of adults are fully banked, with a bank account and no use of alternative financial products.
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