Consumer News & Views
In this Issue…
Who are the unbanked?
Are you living in an unbanked state? Click on the map to find out.
Believe it or not, nearly 10 million households
across the country are living without a bank account. And in some states, these
residents make up a big slice of the population.
While 37% of U.S. households live in the South, nearly half -- or 46% -- of all unbanked households in the country reside in this region. And, so do nearly 40% of the nation's poor, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
And that's no coincidence, said Odysseas
Papadimitriou, CEO of CardHub.com and former head of a team at Capital One
tasked with identifying products for unbanked customers. "Wherever you see high
poverty and low-income populations, you will see higher populations of
unbanked," he said.
"If you're poor and don't have a steady income and aren't able to keep a high balance in a bank account, you might feel you're saving money by not paying a monthly fee, since it might be just one fee at the check-cashing store," said Papadimitriou.
But often, fees for alternative financial services like check-cashers, payday loans, tax refund anticipation loans or money orders can be much higher than monthly bank account fees. And even what may start out as small fees can add up significantly depending on how carefully -- and how often -- you use these products.
me prepaid cards, which are attracting a growing
number of unbanked households, can be low-cost alternatives to traditional
bank-issued debit cards. But others come loaded with fees.
About 28% of households earning less than $15,000 don't have bank accounts, according to the study. While that's a much larger percentage than the 8.2% national unbanked rate, it still means that a large portion of the lowest-income earners are using bank accounts, so income isn't the only factor at play when it comes to being unbanked.
The study also found that 22% of foreign-born non-citizens, 21% of black households and 20% of Hispanic households are unbanked. Nearly 23% of households with unemployed members and 19% of families headed by a single mother are also unbanked.
Overall, the national unbanked rate has risen from 7.7% in 2009 to 8.2% in 2011, meaning one in 12 households are now without bank accounts.
Quorum Federal Credit Union is Ready to Serve
Why Should I Join?
Banking at Quorum is always convenient with more than 59,000 surcharge-free ATMs and 4,000 Shared Service Centers nationwide. And because deposits are federally insured up to at least $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), a federal agency backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government, it is always a safe and secure place for members to bank.
How Do I Become a Member?
Quorum Federal Credit Union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration.
Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Recall Shows the Need for Tougher Food Safety Regulations – It’s Time for Congress to Act!
The Food and Drug Administration reported that Trader Joe's, a boutique food chain, has issued a nationwide safety recall for its Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter. According to Consumer Reports magazine, this most recent recall indicates a need for tougher food safety regulations. The concern over possible salmonella contamination in the 16-ounce jars of the peanut butter staple underscores the need for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)—a toughened safety bill whose implementation has been stalled by the U.S. government for the past nine months, says Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports.
Thomas Hinton, president of the American Consumer Council, has called for congressional passage of the FSMA saying, “This legislation is long overdue and would give the FDA the enforcement powers it needs to protect consumers from poor quality food production and side-stepping safety standards in food production.”
According to the FDA, the agency is still investigating how the peanut butter might have become tainted with the salmonella bug. And while both the agency and supermarket chain say that no illnesses have been tied to the peanut butter, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 29 illnesses have been reported in 18 states. Trader Joe's says its Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter is being recalled and pulled off shelves "out of an abundance of caution."
Still, the current peanut butter recall—and last year's recall of Smucker's chunky peanut butter—for salmonella-based health risks emphasized the need for stricter food safety regulations.
JSTC Employees Federal Credit Union Attracts Students and Consumers from Pennsylvania with Great Loan Rates
JSTC Employees Federal Credit Union (JSTC) has
become a popular place for high school and college students who want to start a
banking relationship with a strong financial institution. JSTC enjoys helping
students open a new account, apply for a credit card or debit card, and make a
student loan application. Pennsylvania consumers are flocking to JSTC because
they have built a reputation as a consumer-friendly credit union and an easy
place to do their financial business. And, JSTC has a new location at 969
Eisenhower Blvd. in Johnstown, PA. Visit them soon!
JSCT Employees Federal Credit Union
American Consumer Council is proud to have
Green CSM Certification Accepting Applications for 2012 Fall Cycle:
If your company or organization would like to increase its credibility with consumers, you should consider applying for the Green CSM Certification. Applications for the 2012 Fall cycle are now being accepted through December 10, 2012.
It's a proven fact that consumers want to do business with companies that are eco-friendly and practice Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The process is straight-forward and all applicants are recognized by ACC and the Green USA Institute.
All applicants complete the criteria and submit their responses to ACC's Green Consumer Council for review, assessment and feedback. Program details and the Green CSM Certification criteria can be viewed at ACC's website located at: http://americanconsumercouncil.org/greenc.asp