Living without a bank account

Woman at a bank window
Woman at a bank window

There's a troubling trend in this nation: People are giving up their banks.

Exactly how many people are going "bankless" is hard to track, but in the late 1990s, the number bandied about in newspaper articles was approximately 10 million Americans, and the FDIC estimated that 13% of all American households were without a bank account.

Now that number has risen to nearly 17 million, although, because of population growth, the percentage of American households that are "unbanked" has decreased to 7.7%.