From personal experience, I know that when you're outside of the banking system, things get expensive. I would cash a paycheck (for a fee), buy a money order at a supermarket to pay rent (for a fee), put money on a reloadable debit card (for a fee). When you're making every dollar stretch, fees make a big difference.
Every year, alternate financial service providers, like check cashers, reloadable debit cards, and predatory payday or auto-title lenders, take $103 billion per year out of the pockets of people that can least afford it. We should not stand by and let this continue.
Last week, United for a Fair Economy along with 17 other national organizations launched a petition that would ask the US Postal Service to begin offering nonprofit, low-cost banking services to the 67.5 million unbanked people in the US. This could be a game-changer for consumers, and offer a "public option" for banking. Please sign the petition today.