|Message from : ronna smith on 3/20 2020, EMail: email@example.com |
|What if I don’t have a bank account?|
Things are typically easier with a bank account. But you might have your reasons for living life without a bank account. It might be a temporary thing, while you clear up identity theft issues or problems you’ve had with banks in the past. Or you might have just decided to do without banks altogether. Either way, it’s essential to know how to function bank-free.
One solution is to use a prepaid debit card, a bank-like tool which helps you accomplish most common financial tasks on your own. You don’t need to use prepaid cards, but they are a shortcut to banking (without all of the same problems that come with banks).1﻿
Apps and online services are also alternatives. They have slightly less functionality than prepaid cards, but they might fit your needs better.
Prepaid cards let you do many of the same things that you’d do with a checking account. However, you don’t need to open a fully functional bank account. Instead, you “load” funds onto your card and spend the money that you loaded. Key differences between prepaid cards and bank accounts include:
You don’t need to start with a certain minimum balance (although online banks typically don’t have minimum balance or deposit requirements).
There are no credit checks.
ChexSystems and similar items generally won’t prevent you from opening an account.
You can’t spend more money than you have or go into debt.
Some prepaid cards have monthly maintenance charges and other fees, but there are free cards out there. If you do end up paying fees, you might spend a lot less than you’d pay to a bank or credit union. For example, cards like the Amex Express Serve card can virtually replace a checking account at little cost.2﻿
Now, on to some basic banking tasks, and how to get them done without a traditional bank account.
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