Why should I get a bank account?

Posted: August 11th, 2021 8:48 AM

Last Updated: September 16th, 2021 12:59 PM

If you rely on expensive check-cashing services, now you have a great alternative. Bank on Oakland has partnered with local banks and credit unions to offer free or low-cost accounts. Even if you have never opened an account before, have had problems with an account in the past, or need a free or low-cost account, Bank on Oakland wants to help you open an account with a bank or credit union and begin saving for the future.

Using check cashers may seem more convenient than having a checking account at a bank. But these services cost a lot more than a checking account. Check-cashing stores charge you up to 5% of the check amount. Cash a $250 check and pay 5%, or $12.50. To cash two paychecks a month, you may pay more than five times as much in fees than you would at a bank with a regular checking account.

Without a bank account, you and your family could lose your money during an emergency, like an earthquake or a fire. You also have no safe place to keep your money, and may become a victim of robbery or theft. Money deposited in a bank or credit union is protected by the state and federal government.

With a checking account, you can deposit your checks and access your money for little or no cost. You can save money by paying bills with checks or online bill pay. You can use your debit card to make purchases at stores or to withdraw money from ATMs across the city, reducing the need to carry cash. You can also keep track of your spending online, by phone, or at the ATM.

Without a bank account, it is much more difficult to save your money to reach long-term goals, such as buying a home, starting a business, or investing in your or your child’s education. Studies show that people with bank accounts are more likely to save and move up the economic ladder to financial security.