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A New Way for Financial Coaches to Help the Unbanked

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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

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Tip of the Day

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    Tip to Save During the Holidays: Decide how much you can spend. http://ow.ly/pX9nu via @Bankrate

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Starting and Continuing a Personal Finance Journey

Written by Sara Cooper | December 23, 2013

When Kiara Hardin, now a junior at Western Illinois University, became an intern with the Chicago Summer Business Institute during her sophomore year of high school, she began her personal finance journey. The program required participants to open a savings account.

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Meet Esmeralda: 2019 SaveYourRefund Grand Prize Winner

Written by Lindsay Ferguson | June 4, 2019

“I have a goal, and I am going to achieve that goal.” 2019 SaveYourRefund Grand Prize Winner Esmeralda says that savings has always been about achieving self-sufficiency amidst tremendous adversity. “It’s hard to pay myself first,” says Esmeralda, particularly when you have to anticipate emergency expenses like a broken down car.

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Written by Katie Bryan | October 28, 2013

Until last summer, Michael Lindman spent money freely. “I was a union truck driver for 35 years and had a good income,” said Lindman. “I owned my own home, saved a little, and tried to live within my own budget. You always think there’s going to be that much coming in, but things can change in a split second.”

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