Discusses the problems with American banking and investigates such informal banking alternatives as check-cashing businesses, payday lenders, and lending clubs. "An urgent, absorbing exposé--why Americans are fleeing our broken banking system in growing numbers, and how alternatives are rushing in to do what banks once did. What do an undocumented immigrant in the South Bronx, a high-net-worth entrepreneur, and a twenty-something graduate student have in common? All three are victims of our dysfunctional mainstream banking and credit system. Today nearly half of all Americans live from paycheck to paycheck, and income volatility has doubled over the past thirty years. Banks, with their high monthly fees and overdraft charges, are gouging their low- and middle-income customers while serving only the wealthiest Americans. Lisa Servon delivers a stunning indictment of America's banks, together with eye-opening dispatches from inside a range of banking alternatives that have sprung up to fill the void. She works as a teller at RiteCheck, a check-cashing business in the South Bronx, and as a payday lender in Oakland. She looks closely at the workings of a tanda, an informal lending club. And she delivers engaging, hopeful portraits of the entrepreneurs reacting to the unbanking of America by designing systems to creatively serve many of us."--Dust jacket.
We're all underbanked Where everybody knows your name Bankonomics, or How banking changed and most of us lost out The new middle class The credit trap : "bad debt" and real life Payday loans : making the best of poor options Living in the minus : the millennial perspective Borrowing and saving under the radar Inside the innovators Rejecting the new normal.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 191-240) and index.