Low Income Consumers at Risk of Being Denied a Bank Account

In recent years, low income consumers are at great risk for
being denied bank accounts,Justice _scale a necessity
for building finances and aiding low income Americans at getting on
their feet.  Innocent mistakes like a bounced check or an
over-draft from an account have tarnished these consumers from
obtaining bank accounts because of private databases used by most
of America’s banking industry.

In a
post written last week
, I explained how
credit reporting agencies
are not the only source that track
and report on your financial history.  Private databases used
by our banks are hindering the efforts of low income consumers to
make their way out of a financial rut and are the contributing
factor to approximately 10 million households in our country that
cannot get a bank
account.        

While
credit reporting agencies
report on your credit history for a
period of 7 to 10 years, private databases only show your financial
“lapses” in the banking industry.  Using these databases to
determine a consumer’s credit worthiness disproportionately affects
low income consumers who more often live pay-check to pay-check
making it likely to bounce checks and have overdrafts.  These
databases were created over 20 years ago and in the recent past
have hindered the efforts at aiding low income Americans to build
their financial security by opening checking accounts. 

Low income consumers with decent credit reports are ineligible
for opening checking accounts because of minor mistakes reported to
these databases forcing them to turn to expensive check cashing
facilities.  Without a checking account, low income consumers
are more likely to make late payments and unable to save for their
future, essentially forcing them to remain low income even with a
decent job and a regular pay
check.      

The
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
is aware of this problem
facing low income Americans and is currently in discussions about
whether these databases should be forced to comply with the Fair
Credit Reporting Act.  Currently, most consumers are not aware
of the existence of these databases and have no idea what is
reported about them.

If you are having problems obtaining a bank account or have
issues with your
credit report
and would like assistance, contact SmithMarco
P.C. for a free case
review