If you rely on expensive check-cashing services, now you have a great alternative. Bank On Manhattan has partnered with banks 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 Manhattan wants to help you open a bank account and begin saving for the future.
How can a bank account help me?
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 establishments charge you almost two percent of the check amount. Cash a $500 check and pay $10.00 - more than the monthly maintenance fee at most banks. Cash two paychecks a month and you may pay more than six times as much in fees than you would with a regular checking account at a bank. And with bill pay and money order fees at check cashers, your costs really add up.
Without a bank account, you and your family could lose money during an emergency, like a flood or a fire. Also, it's hard to keep your money safe, and easier to become a victim of robbery or theft. When money is deposited in a bank it is protected by the full faith and credit of the U.S. 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, on the Internet or by direct debit. These free tools help you avoid paying for money orders or bill pay services. 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 on the Internet, by phone, or at the ATM.
Without a bank account, it's difficult to save your money in order 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 move up the economic ladder.