Negro, Open a Damn Checking Account
11 months ago
More than a fifth of black households don't have a checking or savings account
The views expressed in this Op-Ed do not reflect that of Loop 21.
When Chase rolled out its brand new Liquid Card earlier this month to mass fanfare I had to slap my forehead in disgust. The card offers all the features of a free checking account, except without the checking account; and it’s not free.
Perhaps it was the card’s warm response that got President Obama’s newly-created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to realize this $57 billion business – that’s set to expand to $167 billion by 2014 – may have to be regulated to keep more Americans from forking over more of their hard-earned cash.
I’ve never understood why so many of our people insist on wasting their money on nonsense. One of the single greatest examples of this phenomenon I’ve ever seen is prepaid debit cards and check-cashing establishments. Using these tools is literally like putting your money in a pile and lighting it on fire. It’s gotten absolutely out of control.
I read recently in the New York Times that more than a fifth of black households (21.7 percent to be exact) don’t have a checking or savings account. This is only true for 3.3 percent of white households. It’s time to smarten up.
Some people may have been fooled by the recent onslaught of “low-cost alternative” debit cards and check-cashing services, but at no point does “low-cost” cost less than free. While cards like the Rush Card and the Chase Liquid card advertise themselves as easy and convenient alternatives to a debit card, all they really are is an easy, convenient way to give your money away.
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