Center for Financial Empowerment

What is BankOn?

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Center for Financial Empowerment

What is BankOn?

BankOn’s goal is to ensure that everyone has access to safe and affordable financial products and services.

Click the button to see a list of BankOn Los Angeles County partners.

See BankOn Partners
Bank On LAC logo

A checking account can help you manage your money and save for the future!

BankOn coalitions are local partnerships between government agencies, financial institutions, and community organizations that work together to improve the financial stability of unbanked and underbanked residents in their communities.

The BankOn Los Angeles County coalition is managed by the County of Los Angeles Department of Consumer and Business Affairs’ Center for Financial Empowerment. We work with community organizations, County departments, and financial institutions to increase access to mainstream bank accounts. This helps you avoid expensive alternative financial services and puts you on a path to increased savings and financial empowerment.

lady going through the bank atm

How do I know the accounts are safe?

The BankOn program is managed nationally by the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. They provide local coalitions with a benchmark for recommended account features that outline the core functionality of a safe account. Accounts certified as meeting BankOn National Account Standards promote access to low-cost bank accounts with robust features and consumer protections including:

  • No overdraft fee
  • Online bill pay functionality (which helps you avoid the need for money orders)
  • Banking alerts to help you manage your money

Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund

Why get banked?

Why get banked?

It is CHEAPER

If you don't have a checking account to deposit a paycheck, you might be paying high check-cashing fees that could amount to hundreds of dollars.
For example, if a check-cashing service charges you 3 percent to cash your $1,000 check, you will pay a $30 fee.

If you have a checking account, you can directly deposit your paycheck for free. You may also deposit checks by going to a branch location or using a mobile application at no cost.

It is SAFER

By not having your money in a checking account and storing it in your home, car, or other unsecured location, your money could be lost during an emergency such as a theft, fire, or natural disaster.
If your money is in an account with a bank or credit union it can be insured up to $250,000 by the following agencies:

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) (for banks)

National Credit Union Administration (for credit unions)

It is ACCESSIBLE

Without a checking account you may only have access to the cash you are carrying with you. This makes it difficult to access the money you leave at home.
With a checking account your money will always be accessible at a branch location, at an ATM by using a debit card, and with the use of a website or mobile application.

It is easier to REACH YOUR FINANCIAL GOALS

If you don’t have a checking account then you are less likely to achieve your financial goals.
If you have a checking account it is easier to have access to other financial products like personal loans, car loans, and mortgage loans. It is also easier to maintain a keep track of spending using online and mobile banking.
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