The plight of the unbanked: Why 50 million Americans don't use a traditional bank

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Millions - possibly billions - of dollars are homeless, lacking a warm, dry bank account providing a roof over their heads. Although it might seem hard to imagine a day where we're stuffing mattresses with money instead of depositing paychecks in the bank, analysts say that scenario isn't too far fetched.

According to Directo, a company providing paycards to unbanked workers, the recession has sent the number of unbanked Americans soaring to about 50 million. That's up from the estimated 28 million unbanked consumers in 2007.

While you might assume those who are unbanked are jobless, low income or even homeless Americans, that's not the case. A majority of them are employed, middle-income earners, many of whom are parents.