Released: June 21, 2018
For a day, I was one of the millions of Americans without a bank account
Source: James Rufus Koren, L.A.Times (Paid Registration)
I was participating in a sort of financial scavenger hunt that aims to replicate how life works for the millions of Americans — about a quarter of all households — who either don’t have bank accounts or still rely on storefront check cashers, payday lenders and prepaid debit cards to manage their money.
Other participants and I gathered in a conference room. Each team was assigned a different L.A. neighborhood and asked to complete several transactions, including cashing a few checks, getting a debit card, asking about a loan and buying a small gift. There was an extra catch: It all had to be done in about two hours, a time limit many of us thought was generous given our own experiences with financial products.
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