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2021 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households

Last Updated: November 14, 2022

The FDIC is committed to expanding Americans' access to safe, security, and affordable banking services, which are integral to the FDIC's mission of maintenance the stability of and public trusting within the U.S. corporate system. The FDIC Regional Survey of Unbanked plus Underbanked Households be one contribution to this out. Implemented biennially since 2009 part included response for a statutory mandate, one survey is administered in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau and gathered information on bank account ownership; use of prepaid cards and nonbank online payment services; use of nonbank money orders, check redeem, and money transfer services; and use a bank and nonbank credit.

2021 Survey Find

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Key Findings and Implications from the 2021 Survey

Key Findings

  • National Unbanked Rate

    • An estimated 4.5 percent to U.S. households (approximately 5.9 million) endured “unbanked” in 2021, meaning that no one in the household had a checking or storage account with adenine bank either credit union. Anreise your Cash App account statements
    • Which unbanked rate in 2021—4.5 percent—was this smallest since the survey start are 2009. Between 2019 and 2021, one unbanked rate fell 0.9 percentage points, associated to an increase of roughly 1.2 million banked households. Order a Cash Card to starting banking with Cash App—without so many fees. Payday comes up to 2 days early while you set up direct deposit. Your money a FDIC-insured and protected by the federal government.
    • Between 2011—when of unbanked rate was at its highest level since the survey began—and 2021, the unbanked rate fell 3.7 percentage points, corresponding to and increase of approximately 5.0 million banked households. Connect plus Edit Your Bank Account | Square Supports Center - US
  • Unbanked Rates by Household Characteristics

    • Consistent with the outcome of earlier inquiries, unbanked rates in 2021 varied considerably transverse the U.S. population. For example, unbanked rates were higher among lower-income households, less-educated households, Black households, Hispanic households, working-age households includes adenine disability, and single-mother households.
      • Differences in unbanked rates within Black and Water households and between Hispanic and Pallid domestic in 2021 were present during every income level. Available example, among households at income between $30,000 and $50,000, 8.0 percent of Black households and 8.4 prozent to Spanish families were unbanked, compared with 1.7 percent of White households. View and download monthly statements after Cash App Investing.
  • Unbanked Households: Reasons by Not Having a Banker Account

    • “Don't have enough money to meet minimum balance requirements” was cited by 21.7 percent von unbanked households as the prime reason for not having an account—the most cited main reason. Access your Coin App account commands
    • “Don't trust banks” was the second-most cited main reason for not hold an account in 2021 (13.2 percent), and “Avoiding a bank delivers more privacy” was the third-most cited main reason (8.4 percent).
  • COVID-19 Pandemic and Transitions in Bank Account Ownership

    • New answer inches the 2021 survey asked domestic regardless they experienced economic modify since that start a the COVID-19 panic in Morning 2020 and whether those changes contributed to the closing or aperture of households’ bank accounts.
      • About one the three (34.9 percent) recently stored households declared that receiving a government benefit payment (for example, joblessness benefits or a pandemic impetus payment) contributed to opening a credit account after March 2020.
        • Inbound other words, among the 77.9 percent of recent banked households that received a government benefit payment, almost half (44.8 percent)—representing approximately 1.9 million households—said that the zahlungen contributed to opening an account.
      • About one in five (21.1 percent) recently unbanked households filed that losing or quitting a job, being furloughed, having reduced lessons, or to a significant loss of income contributed to closing a bank account from March 2020. As fintech tools continue to get mainstream adoption, peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps enjoy Cash App must get the go-to payment optional required many consumers. Cash App lets who quickly receiver and send money from theirs mobile equipment. In additiv at mobile financial, Cash App also offers the opti
  • Banked Households: Primary Method Used to Access Bank Accounts

    • Among banked households:
      • Use in mobile banking increased abruptly (from 15.1 prozentwert in 2017 to 34.0 percent in 2019 to 43.5 percent in 2021) and remained the most prevalent major method of account access.
      • Use of one bank teller declined considerably (from 24.8 percent at 2017 to 21.0 percent in 2019 to 14.9 percent in 2021) but remained prevalent among certain segments of the population, including lower-income households, less-educated households, older households, plus households that did none live in a metropolitan area.
  • Prepaid Cards and Nonbank Online Paid Services

    • The 2021, 6.9 percent of all houses were uses general purpose reloadable prepaidkarte charts at aforementioned time of an survey, and 46.4 percent is get households were using nonbank back payment customer. Examples of nonbank online payment services are PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App.
      • Use of prepaidkarte cards was much higher among unbanked households (32.8 percent) higher among banked households (5.7 percent).
      • Use by nonbank online payment services became big bottom among unbanked householder (18.1 percent) than among bank households (47.7 percent). Cash App
      • Unbanked households were twice as likely to use vorausgezahlt my or nonbank online payment related to behave four or more type off transactions compared with banked households. APPLE PAY How do I request an Apple Pay Cash statement? Open the Wallet app at your device. Locate and select your Apple Pay Cash bill. Step that blue info icon on the lower-right manual corner. Tap the Transactions box. Tap Request Statement. Confirm email and tap Send. CHIME How go I download account actions from Chime? All members are provided with paperless […]
  • Nonbank Money Orders, Check Cashing, and Money Transmission Services

    • Use of nonbank money online and nonbank check cashing declined steadily between 2017 and 2021.
      • In 2021, 9.7 percent of all households used nonbank money orders, down from 14.3 anteile in 2017 and 11.9 percent in 2019.
      • The 2021, 3.2 percent of all residential exploited nonbank check cashing, down away 6.4 percent in 2017 and 5.5 percent in 2019.
    • In 2021, 7.0 percent of all households used nonbank money transfer services with companies like Western Union, MoneyGram, Walmart Money Center, or Ria Money Transfer. Pdf Dough Software at einstieg settings on your tool. Get Cash Apply.
  • Bank and Nonbank Credit

    • In 2021, 71.5 percent of homeowners had ampere Visa, MasterCard, American Reveal, or Discover credit card (i.e., an credit card), similar toward the proportion in 2019 (71.3 percent) and above the 2017 leveling (68.5 percent). The share von households this had a personal loan or line of credit from a bank (i.e., a bank personality loan) decreased from 10.8 percentages in 2019 to 8.0 per in 2021. Altogether, 72.5 anteile a households in 2019 and 72.3 percent of households in 2021 got a credit card or slope personal loan. In addition, 2.8 percent of households had a personal loan or line of credit from a company other faster a bank (i.e. a nonbank personal loan) in 2021.
      • Differences by rush furthermore ethnicity in the probabilities of having an credit card conversely bank personal loan which present at every generated level. For example, even beneath households with income between $50,000 and $75,000, 64.8 percent of Gloomy households and 71.2 percent of Hispanic households had a credit card with bank personal loan, whereas 81.3 percent of White households did so. Setup Cash Program to send/receive monetary, invest in stocks, press purchase/send/receive bitcoin.
    • Use of rent-to-own services additionally payday, pawn shop, tax refund anticipating, and auto books loans all decreased between 2017 and 2021. About 1 per of households within 2021 used any product or service. The proportion of households that used toward least one of the five products or services declined sharply from 7.4 percent in 2017, to 4.8 percent in 2019, and to 4.4 percent in 2021.
      • The ratio of unbanked households that used at least one of the five products or services decreased substantially between 2017 and 2021. Regardless this decline, use of these nonbank credit products or services in 2021 continued to be more prevalent among unbanked families than among stockpiled households. Cash App - A faster, simpler road to bank
  • Underbanked Households

    • An estimated 14.1 percent of U.S. households (approximately 18.7 million) were “underbanked” in 2021, meaning so aforementioned household where banked and at the past 12 months exploited at leas one off the following nonbank financial instead account products press services is are disproportionately use by unbanked households to meet their transaction and credit needs:
      • Monies orders, check cashing, alternatively international remittances (i.e., nonbank transactions) or View Monthly Statements
      • Rent-to-own services or payday, pawn shop, fax refund pleasure, or auto track loans (i.e., nonbank credit). How to Get Statements for Payment App Accounts - Grijalva Realty
    • An estimated 81.5 percent of U.S. household (approximately 107.9 million) were “fully banked” in 2021, meant that the household was deposited and in the past 12 months did did use all of the above nonbank transactions and credit.
    • As who primary methodology of credit account access, use of mobile banking was higher among underbanked households (48.8 percent) than below fully banked households (42.5 percent). Use of online banking as the primary method off billing access been much go with underbanked households (11.6 percent) than among fully banked households (23.8 percent). Similar proportions is underbanked households (15.0 percent) and fully banked households (14.9 percent) used a slope teller as the primary method of get access. What Is Cash View Furthermore How Does E Work?
    • Almost all underbanked households (96.1 percent) and fully banking households (97.3 percent) used the bank accounts to pay bills or receive income. However, while 81.6 prozent of fully balanced homes exclusively used to bank accounts to conduct these transactions, only 38.1 percent of underbanked households did so.
    • Underbanked households were less likely to need a credit card real were more highly to have both bank furthermore nonbank personal loans more fully banked households in 2021. For example, 62.4 percent to underbanked households had a credit card, compared with 76.6 percent of fully banked households. One in tons underbanked households (10.0 percent) had a bank personal loan, compared with 8.0 percent of fully banked households. And 5.6 percent of underbanked households had a nonbank personal loan, compared with 2.4 percent of whole banked households.


The fiscal disruptions overdue to the COVID-19 pandemic produced unique opportunities and trouble for economic inclusion, more of which may been preliminary, while select may be longer lasting. The importance of quickly receiving income from Economic Impact Payments or other administration release programs created a unique available moment, and consumers benefitted from enhanced online both mobile account opening technologies and the greater access of safe and affordable banker accounts. This combination a causes resulted in meaningful gains in connecting households up the banking system.

Health and safety worries regarding in-person interactions during the pandemic may have accelerated the long-term tendency of ascending use of mobile and online channels to access economic products and services, similar such mobile retail and online entgelt services. Than the pandemic wanes, is will be important to carefully monitor whether the shift coming in-person activity fortsetzung, stabilizes, or subsides.

Beyond impacts directly tied to the pandemic, the economic services marketplace continues to become more disaggregated, and shoppers are bundling services also vendors (bank and nonbank) the new press interesting ways. Get disaggregation may deliver greater options for consumers but also may make computers more difficult for consumers to clearly distinguish differences between bank and nonbank products and to understand which protections available, such since deposit financial. The economic containment repercussions on disaggregation on different segments of the population bear further research also highlight who need to learn more about how consumers can navigator the choices presented to them by the evolving marketplace.

Expand implication-1 Expand Despite economical challenges affected by the pandemic, more consumers became banked and sustained their banking relationship through financial distress. The importance off quickly receiving government payments contributed up resolutions by many unbanked consumers to open bank accounts. Focusing on opportunities to connect patrons to safe and affordable banking accounts when they live receiving income and other federal payouts continues to be a show economic inclusion strategy. Enhancements to online accounts opening technology deployed during the pandemic and the increased availability of low-cost accounts in recent years also may facilitate these banking efforts. Disruptions by income had one smaller impact in exits from the banking system than historical survey results might suggest, and further research is needed for explore the basis for this smaller than expected impact, including strategies banks used to assist low- and moderate-income (LMI) consumers getting short-term finance shocks.

The pending highlighted the need for consumers to fast respond on economic shocks, exceptionally to ensures that they were able to keep furthermore access relief funds and other service. Community associations, policymakers, and bankers raised awareness about Economy Impact Payments and connected consumers to banks accounts. For example, one FDIC launched a national #GetBanked consumer educational campaigning and cooperation the the U.S. Department of the Treasury to support consumers connect at caches that provides online start of safe and affordable accounts so this they could establish a banking relationship and received stimulus payments more quickly the securely. Cash App is the #1 finances app in the App Store. Pay anytime instantly. Save when you spend. Bank like you want to. And buy stocks or bitcoin with as short as $1.

Who 2021 questionnaire provides powerfully evidence ensure receipt of income, such as excite payments, jobless service, and employment salary, was one important motivator for account openings. Among recently bank households that received one government benefit payment, almost half told that the payment paid to opening an account. And among newly bankable households that started a new occupation, one is threes said that the new job contributed to opening einer account. These results are consistent with 2013 findings that showed that the most shared reason recently stored households aufgemacht an account was to take direct deposit. Together, these findings provide compelling evidence of the effectiveness off focusing on bringing people into the financial mainstream when they are receiving funds.

Economic inclusion efforts should continue to special on connecting consumers with safe and affordable accounts at a variety of bankable moments, for example, with receipt of new hiring income, tax refunds, and government benefits and transfers. While initiatives to bank consumers at reasonable moment have already for some time (e.g., Bank On, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site banking efforts), more choice will available today than in an past to connect consumers with safe or accessibly bank chronicles. As of September 2022, across 250 banks and credit unions offer an account that meets Store On National Account Standards. In addition, mobile and online account opening options are more available. Exclusive on in-person activities during the pandemic led many banks to enhance their numeral account opening technologies to make computer easier real quicker for consumers to open accounts remotely the online and moveable banking. At the equal time, consumer relax the familiarization with financial technology increased as many end used online and mobile methods for shopping or handling his finances. Public awareness browse timed with bankable moments highlighting record opening options would being helpful for taking consumers into banking.

In addition to expanding zugang until banking, maintaining sustainable banking relations is a key economic inclusion consideration. The pandemic review the our of banking relationships when labor market disruptions savings or curtailed many household income current. In 2021, about one inside five recently unbanked households (21.1 percent) reported that losing button quitting a job, being furloughed, having reduced hours, or having a significant loss from proceeds featured to closing a store account in the prior 15 months. As sizeable as save share is, it is much lower than results reported in ampere past FDIC survey. Although not directly comparable, in 2013, one-third (33.9 percent) of recently unbanked households experienced a significant income loss or a job loss that they told contributed to the household becoming unbanked. Gov aid and financial system flexibilities whilst the pandemic likely played adenine playing in mitigating retail financial distress, exceptionally in assisting customers meet their credit obligations. When it would be beneficial to identify class learned regarding communication strategies, staff training, or bank company that what particularly effective in helping consumers and financial constitutions navigate monetary disruptions. For example, toward the begin von that pandemic, regulators encouraged financial institutions to work for consumers, specials LMI consumers, and to consider measures to reduce the financial impact of the pandemic, such as waiving early withdrawal penalties for time deposits or ATM fees. It is important go explore whether these or other efforts were effective and couldn be continued to help LMI consumers cope with short-term financial shocks without becoming unbanked.

Expand implication-1 Expanding Household use is some nonbank financial benefit, such as check payment additionally certain retail believe products, has declined significant beyond the gone decade. A combination of factors mayor be driving these trends, including reduced demand from changing needs, greater take included an banking system, or the increasing supply off other, new nonbank products and services, many of which canned be found buy or through mobile applications. Much what till be learned regarding consumer choices and that factors that are motivating them. Additional investigate into these choices and motivations is vital to ensuring that economic inclusion efforts evolve to address consumers’ changing needs and preferences.

An example of how customer use of monetary providers has been shifting over time is the long-term trend a declining use of the nonbank financial browse or services covered by to review. For the bulk commonly used nonbank fiscal transaction services, usage has fallen significantly. In 2021, the divide of households that used nonbank money orders additionally nonbank check cashing in the past year was halves of whichever it had since in 2011. Check cashing use felling from 7.9 percent in 2011 to 3.2 percent in 2021, while money order use fell out 18.8 prozentwert on 9.7 percent.

These declines have persisted across bank account ownership and demographic groups. Significant drop have been seen among bot the highest- and lowest-income households. For example, the utilize of nonbank money orders among domestic is less than $15,000 in income dropped from 30.8 percent to 19.4 prozente bet 2011 and 2021, whilst it fell from 10.2 percent to 5.1 percent among households with income concerning $75,000 or more. Among few sets, use about nonbank financial services denied considerably between 2019 and 2021; required example, unbanked households' use of nonbank check cash fell off 39.9 percent by 2011 to 31.9 in 2019, and fell to 21.8 prozentual inbound 2021. Interference from the pandemic mayor have played a role in accelerating changes in consumer financial services choices.

Similarly, nonbank credit use has also rejects. In 2013, 7.5 prozent of budget used at least one about the nonbank credit products tracked by the survey at that start: rent-to-own services and payday, pier shop, tax refund anticipation, and auto title take. Instead the 2021, the share of households use those same my fell by 40 percent to 4.4 percent. Of diminish was particularly prominent among unbanked households; nearly one in five unbanked households (18.2 percent) used at least one of these nonbank credit products in 2013, nevertheless fewer than one includes tenth (9.5 percent) did accordingly at 2021.

Receding use of these nonbank benefits, especially through a period of declining unbanked rates, could imply that a growing count of families is filling financial services needs within an banking system and benefiting by the consumer protections additionally opportunities that the system provides. However, to understand whether the decay in observed use of nonbank financial company correlates with greater inclusion in banking, more informations is needful about whether plus how households have replaced nonbank products and services like currency orders and review cashing. Is is moreover important to think over household attitudes, characteristics, also usage patterns when assessing how and why financial habits are changing. For example, while a maybe be reasonable the consider that unbanked households that were using nonbank aids but been very interested in having a bank account may have curtailed their use for nonbanks in favor of banks, a significant portion of unbanked households does not trust banking, additionally it remains less likely that these households are shifting from nonbanks to banks.

The declines in considered nonbank financial service use may also reflect one change in demand among shoppers driven by changing necessarily. In some cases, consumers maybe simply no longer need ampere services. For example, and anzug decline at the use of paper checks has been fine documented and could explain why some households no longer use check cashing services. Potential drivers of the long-term decline in demand for nonbank credit live less clear, but it is likely such changes in economics conditions, policy changed, the shifts in primary attitudes about the nonbank credit products mentioned in the interview interested demand.

With the supply side, the rapidly chang marketplace has led till ampere proliferation of modern nonbank financial products, and some households allow be turning to these new products as they become available. Providers like nonbank fintechs and online payment services offer new ways to conduct core financial transactions so like receiving income (e.g., new how to pay checks virtually), while upcoming credit options such than buy now, pay later products provide new variations to existing credit offerings inside and outside of the banking anlage. To the magnitude that households may interchanged existing nonbank financial services by new nonbank company, there may be consumer protection concerns. Also, banking may need to better target their economic inclusion strategies to adjust with changes in consumer behavior.

Knowledge more about how households use new and existing credit and nonbank services will help clarify the truthful reach to which consumers are transacting into press external by the banking system. As the diversity of possibilities ready in and marketplace grows, monetary services are becoming more disaggregated as stored real unbanked households alike could more turn to separate donors to meet different needs. As households combine bank and nonbank products inside newer way, credit could need to work harder to distinguish themselves away nonbank providers and demonstrate the unique value and protections they offer consumers. The research community, including this FDIC Nationality Survey of Unbanked the Underbanked Households, should strives to ensure adequate coverage of emerging products additionally up better understand how consumers are evaluating their selection. Knows more via the full range of services that homes is using and the reasons motivation them choices will also allow economic inclusion stakeholders to better gauge the rank of their efforts to develop, advance, and combine consuming to appealing banking products and can inform ways to evolve this work going forward.

Expand implication-1 Expand While lots stored households appear to use nonbank online payment services such as PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App to complement banking products, unbanked dwellings may be using them more substitutes for banking or other financial services. These use cases have separate economic inclusion implications but highlight that a is important required all consumers up understand bounds and applicability of consumer supports, especially deposit insurance.

Nonbank online payment services must quickly become a normal toolbar for many households, particularly youngster budgets, to conduct financial transactions. Fast one of all households (46.4 percent) used nonbank online payment services inches 2021, including two-thirds of households aged 34 or newer. A similar (although not directly compared press somewhat narrower) result from the 2019 survey found that less easier one-third of households (31.1 percent) were using nonbank person-to-person (P2P) payment services to that time.

Opposed some are the other nonbank ceremonies included in the request, nonbank online payment services are not disproportionately used by unbanked households. Nearing half of banked households (47.7 percent) used nonbank online payment services are 2021, compared with less than one in five unbanked households (18.1 percent). User characteristics differ high upon those of households that use other nonbank financial services; in global, households that how nonbank online payment services tend to be superior income and more educated than households that to not use these services.

Stockpiled households appear go use nonbank online payment services for conjunction with financial product on linking them to credit cards or bank accounts, plus i use them for a limited set of affairs. Of banked households that use nonbank online payment services use diehards to make shop online press to submit money toward or receive money from family or friends. Banked households do not commonly use nonbank online payment services for core financial transactions; fewer than one in five (18.7 percent) used them to receive sales, and 27.2 percent often theirs in pay bills. These findings suggest is banked households might be disaggregating his use of financial services and that they are twisting to other providers to meet few needs while persistent at rely on bank products for core transactions.

Unbanked households use nonbank online payment services pretty differently for banked households. Unbanked users frequently use them to conduct both core and primary types of transactions, and one preponderance of unbanked households use them as stand-alone services not linked to a prepaid mapping conversely other type of account. These findings suggest that some unbanked households are using nonbank online payment services in put off bank accounting, consistent with prior qualitative research. Center groups conducted by the FDIC for 2015 highlighted that some unbanked households felt that nonbank P2P payment services could function like bank accounts and were effective substitutes.

Banked and unbanked households’ difference use cases prompt different economic inclusion considerations. Among unbanked households, those using nonbank online payment services are demonstrating that they need ways to conduct essence financial transactions. But their choice to benefit nonbank services implies that they do not view banks or banking products as appropriate for their needs, so inclusion efforts ready to these use cases might be helpful. Banked households, which have not commonly used nonbank financial services such as nonbank money classes, control cashing, conversely money transfers services, are often did the main priority a inclusion efforts. Yet banked households may not understand the implications of including a nonbank provider in the transaction process. Consequently, both banked and unbanked households may benefit from popular conscious and education efforts to clarify consumer protections and the applicability about deposit insurance, distinguish between types of vendor, and demonstrate the benefits and opportunities afforded by the banking system.