Quarter of US Households Have Limited Bank Access Minorities, low-income families hit hardest By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Dec 2, 2009 6:10 PM CST 6 comments Comments A customer enters a Payroll Advance location in Cincinnati. Low-income families often rely on such check-cashing operations instead of banks. (AP Photo/Al Behrman, File) (Newser) – A quarter of US households have little or no access to banks—relying instead on nontraditional services such as check-cashing shops, pawn shops, or payday loans, and often paying exorbitant interest rates. The first comprehensive survey of its kind by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. showed that 71% of families that earn less than $30,000, and 22% of black families don't use banks, reports the Washington Post. "By better understanding this group—who they are and their reasons for being unbanked or underbanked—we will be better positioned to help them take that first step" toward financial security, said FDIC chief Sheila Bair. Most of those who don't use banks say they don't think they have enough money to open an account.