Bank On aims to help the under-banked

People without bank accounts are forking–over an average of $700 a year to cash their paychecks and pay their bills.  That’s why the Bank On Rapid City Program looks to help the under-banked people make the most of their money by leading them to credit unions and banks.

Bank On Rapid City launched the city’s first anti– poverty program on Monday at The Dahl Arts Center. The program targets low– income families that rely on pay–day lenders, check cashers and other high–cost financial services for their banking needs.

Organizers say by helping people access free or low cost bank accounts, they can keep more of their paychecks, build savings and establish a credit history.

“They’re paying out so much more to have those other services to use the convenience of those services,” said Barbara Garcia, the city’s community development manager.

Fifty-eight thousand households in Rapid City are either un-banked or under-banked do not have appropriate or adequate banking services.

Rapid City was chosen along with seven other cities in 2009 to participate in the Bank On program. Community businesses, faith – based organizations and non – profits help sponsor the program.

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