How the Unbanked Can Get Stimulus Checks Faster


Looking for your stimulus check? The unbanked could end up waiting until summer unless they open a bank account and submit that information to the IRS.

Mid-April is the time-period many Americans began receiving stimulus checks through direct deposit. But the unbanked may have to wait several months for a mailed paper check.

The checks are a part of the $2 trillion stimulus package intended to financially assist Americans that have experienced job loss, reduced work hours, and other money challenges due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The average household will get $1,523, according to calculations from the Tax Foundation, an independent tax policy nonprofit.

How the Unbanked Can Get Stimulus Checks Sooner

The best way to get a stimulus payment as soon as possible is through direct deposit. There’s no getting around it unless you don’t mind waiting several months for a paper check.

According to the House Ways and Means’ timetable, it could take up to 20 weeks to mail out checks. The paper checks will first go to the households with the lowest adjusted gross incomes, and continue upwards.

And, keep mind, the process could be further delayed because President Trump wants his signature to appear on those paper checks, according to a Washington Post report.

There are many reasons for people being unbanked. Nationwide, about 6.5% of households are unbanked. Some people choose to be unbanked, and others have a hard time opening a bank account due to a negative banking history or bad credit.

Fortunately, there are online bank accounts that can be opened instantly online – even if you have a ChexSystems record, EWS record or bad credit.

3 Online Banks to open an instant checking account

1. BBVA Online Checking

BBVA offers an online checking account that does not use ChexSystems; however, BBVA utilizes EWS to screen customers. Customers enjoy Free ATMs at 64,000 AllPoint® Networks and BBVA ATMs where you can make check or cash deposits. Online banking is made easy with mobile check deposits, bill payment, money transfer tools, and account alerts — all directly from your smartphone, computer or tablet.

Plus, online customers get access to a dedicated team of professionals available via phone, email, and text. There is a $25 minimum deposit required to open the account that can be funded with a debit or credit card.

Account Features:

  • Apply with only $25 opening deposit
  • No Monthly Service Fee
  • Complimentary Online Banking and Mobile Banking, Bill Pay and Online Statements
  • No ATM withdrawal fees at any BBVA or Allpoint® ATM (64,000 Free ATMs Nationwide)
  • BBVA USA, Member FDIC

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2. Chime

Chime spending account is free with no monthly fees, no overdraft fees, and no minimum balance requirements, and it does not take your ChexSystems or EWS information into consideration.

Account management is made simple with daily balance updates, instant transaction alerts, and automated bill paying, where the bank creates and mails a check at no extra cost.

Account Features:

  • No monthly or overdraft fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Daily balance updates
  • Instant transaction alerts
  • Get paid up to two days early with direct deposit ²
  • Visa debit card

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3. SoFi Money Cash Management Account

With the SoFi Money Cash Management Account you can make deposits, write checks, utilize electronic bill pay and transfer money. There are no monthly fees or overdraft fees. Plus, you earn a competitive 0.10% APY on all deposits. The sign up process can take less than 60 seconds. Any U.S. citizen at least 18-years old can open a SoFi Money account.

The SoFi Money Cash Management Account is offered by SoFi Securities LLC, a FINRA registered broker dealer. There is no deposit requirement to open a SoFi cash management account, but you can earn a $25 cash bonus if you sign up for SoFi Money® and deposit at least $500.

SoFi Cash Management Account Features

  • No account fees
  • Unlimited reimbursed ATM fees
  • High-yield interest rate
  • Access to SoFi member benefits like career coaching and financial advising
  • Automated bill pay
  • Easy P2P payments at no cost
  • Freeze debit card on-the-go
  • FDIC-insured deposits up to $1.5MM through the SoFi Money sweep program with partner banks.

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IRS says it’s still time to submit banking information

Getting immediate access to relief funds could be a matter of life and death for millions of Americans. Waiting months to receive a check can be alleviated by submitting bank account information.

If you filed taxes in 2018 or 2019 but the IRS does not have your bank account information:
The IRS “Get My Payment” web page allows taxpayers who filed their tax return in 2018 or 2019 to enter current bank account information for direct deposit of your stimulus check. You can also track the status of your stimulus payment.

If you are not required to file taxes but want to enter bank account information:
The IRS Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here web page allows you to enter your bank account information. Example of people who are not required to file taxes are:

  • Single people who made less than $12,200 and married couples who made less than $24,400 in 2019.
  • People who receive Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), survivor benefits.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • Railroad Retirement benefits.
  • VA benefits may not generally be required to file a tax return.

If you need to file your taxes for free you can do so online directly with the IRS:
The IRS Free File web page allows you to file your tax return online for free if you make less than $69,000 a year. The deadline for federal income taxes has been pushed back from April 15 to July 15, 2020. The IRS says the stimulus checks will be available throughout 2020, in the event it takes time to file a 2019 return.

Final thoughts

Don’t miss out on immediate assistance because your household is unbanked. It could be summer before the unbanked get stimulus checks through the mail.

The base amount of the stimulus payment is $1,200 per person, or $2,400 for married couples filing jointly. If you have a child 16 or younger, you get an additional $500. In theory, a couple with two children under 16 could get $3,400.

That’s free money to use for immediate needs and even stash away in a high interest savings account.

Find More Checking Accounts for the Unbanked

Second Chance Banking in all states

Banks that don’t use ChexSystems

Bank accounts for Bad Credit


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