Recent Articles

Blog

Tips, advice, and the latest news from the savings world.

38 Reasons You Need At Least a $500 Emergency Fund

Written by Kia Young · 05 August 2019

The age-old saying,” When it rains it pours” is especially true when an unexpected emergency pops up- as if you had nothing better to do than fork out $500 on new tires, or visiting the doctor. Recently the Federal Reserve noted that almost half of Americans do not have $400 available in an emergency fund.

A New Way for Financial Coaches to Help the Unbanked

Bank Bank Accounts
Written by Lindsay Ferguson · 31 July 2019

Consumers want to build a strong financial history. From buying their first car to planning for retirement, consumers face many obstacles with ensuring they stay on the right path to positive financial health. Understanding what is in their credit report is an important first step. However, a traditional credit report only gives part of the consumer’s history.

For most banks, when a consumer applies for a bank account, the bank will not pull a traditional credit report but instead a report like ChexSystems to analyze past “banking” transaction information.

Estimates of the number of unbanked consumers who used to be banked is around 50%. Many of these individuals are no longer banked because their previous bank closed their account due to overdrafts (bounced checks). In these cases, there will be an outstanding amount due to the bank, which appears on the ChexSystems report. Most banks will turn down a potential new customer, if such a negative appears.

Non-profit financial coaches express frustration when this happens, since their client becomes discouraged and is often embarrassed by being turned down. Wouldn’t it be better if the financial coach could access this report before the consumer visits the bank, in order to identify negatives, such as past due amounts. Then they could work out an action plan with their client in order to address the negative and increase their odds of being approved by the bank.

Last September, Credit Builders Alliance (CBA) added ChexSystems' ChexAdvisor Educational Report to our Access service, and so far it has been a great success with many of our non-profit members. It has helped them expand their product offerings to serve a wider variety of client needs, such as access to banking services.

An example of this success is found with Ms. Tee:

After attending a Working Credit workshop, Ms. Tee told her counselor she had a high fee, pre-paid debit card but really wanted to open a checking account. She had tried a while ago, but was denied due to a debt owed to a financial institution, and was afraid to reapply. Her Working Credit counselor pulled her ChexAdvisor report through ChexSystems and discovered that she actually had no red flags on her ChexAdvisor report. Her counselor explained her report to her and recommended some low-cost checking accounts near her home and work.

This is just one example of how ChexAdvisor can help you serve your clients more comprehensively. For more information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Written by: Credit Builders Alliance

Take the Pledge

Savers who make a plan are twice as likely to save successfully. 

Take the America Saves Pledge

Tip of the Day

  • Written by Katie Bryan | November 26, 2013

    Let this be the year that you put an end to bringing in the New Year with financial guilt and stress.  http://ow.ly/rcJIn 

Saver Tips and Stories View all »

Budget like Nohemi

Written by Guest Blogger | April 19, 2019

Nohemi found out about America Saves a few years ago as an undergraduate at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She remembers attending a University of Illinois Saves event where she decorated a piggy bank and took the Pledge, but college life made her put the thought of saving at the back of her mind. Those thrifty thoughts resurfaced when she graduated with a degree in public health.

Read more...

Put 20 Percent Away

Written by Lindsay Ferguson | July 8, 2019

“I am a single mother, and I make ends meet for me and my daughter, but I wanted to put money away for my daughter for a college fund. So I started saving 20 percent of my paycheck every month to put it away in a savings account with a high Annual Percentage Yield (APY). By the time my daughter is 18, I will have saved nearly $90,000.”

Read more...

Learning to Save

Written by Katie Bryan | October 28, 2013

Kisha Barns’s financial situation was undisciplined, unrestricted, and impulsive before she came into contact with her local America Saves campaign, Charlotte Saves.

Read more...

Receive Updates

Take the Pledge

Written by Super User | September 16, 2013

Start Saving

Receive Texts

Written by Tammy G. Bruzon | July 15, 2014

Learn More

Partner News & Updates

Written by Katie Bryan | October 18, 2013

Sign Up