The Unbanked Are Not 'Un-Credit Carded'

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Nearly one-quarter of consumers defined as "unbanked," that is they have no relationship with a bank or credit union, have nonetheless used a credit card in the past three months, according to a new study.

The study, by Scarborough Research, found that 22% of that group have used plastic, with 13% of them (approximately 1.3 million people) using a Visa card. Approximately 5% of American adults, or 10.2 million people, are considered unbanked, Scarborough estimated, saying "these consumers are more likely than all adults to be young (46% more likely to be ages 18-24), single (52% more likely than all adults to be single) and in lower income brackets (more than twice as likely to have an annual household income of $35,000 or less). Unbanked consumers are also more than twice as likely to be either black or Hispanic, Scarborough said.

"The unbanked are young, tend to be ethnic and just starting out. Credit cards are an important transaction option as they do not have basic financial services, like checking accounts, established yet," said Karla Horton, manager, advertiser marketing services.

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