The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives by Lisa Servon

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Read The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives Online Free - An urgent, absorbing exposé—why Americans are fleeing our broken banking system in growing numbers, and how alternatives are rushing in to do what banks once did.

What do an undocumented immigrant in the South Bronx, a high‑net‑worth entrepreneur, and a twenty‑something graduate student have in common? All three are victims of our dysfunctional mainstream bank and credit system. Today nearly half of all Americans live from paycheck to paycheck, and income volatility has doubled over the past thirty years. Banks, with their high monthly fees and overdraft charges, are gouging their low- and middle-income customers, while serving only the wealthiest Americans.

Lisa Servon delivers a stunning indictment of America’s banks, together with eye-opening dispatches from inside a range of banking alternatives that have sprung up to fill the void. She works as a teller at RiteCheck, a check‑cashing business in the South Bronx, and as a payday lender in Oakland. She looks closely at the workings of a tanda, an informal lending club. And she delivers fascinating, hopeful portraits of the entrepreneurs reacting to the unbanking of America by designing systems to creatively serve many of us. Banks were once essential pillars of our lives; now we can no longer count on them to do right by us.

Title : The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0544602315
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 272 pages


Andrew rated it ★★★★☆

January 13, 2017

As someone who spent his whole working life in the employ of a large retail bank in the UK, the title of this book intrigued me. How could anyone considered to be middle class (almost regardless of the precise definition) survive without using a bank? Well, in this book Lisa Servon (Professor of...

The Pfaeffle Journal (Diane) rated it ★★★★☆

April 03, 2017

The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives was very interesting, I like many people look at check cashing and payday loan operations as near criminal. Lisa Servon, begs to differ, she takes us on a imitate look at how these companies function with the communities they serve. We h...

Jen rated it ★★★★★

February 18, 2017

Wow. That's all I have to say. Banks and credit card companies are possibly more evil than payday lenders and check cashiers, despite what the media says. Who knew? Well, if you believe the media, I have a bridge to sell you. But I digress. Now, just to be fair, the author isn't saying banks and cr...

Biblio rated it ★★★★★

December 18, 2016

Any thoughts on payday loan stores? I had it all figured out, that they are a scourge that should be eliminated immediately. Then I read The Unbanking of America, and I had to change my mind. First off, Lisa Servon differentiates the payday loan providers from the check cashing and money wiring s...

Mary rated it ★★★★★

January 11, 2017

It's not often you find a book that educates while delivering a strong, personal narrative. The author shows how the banking industry has become a haven for the wealthy and through her own personal experiences working at a check cashier and payday lender introduces us to middle class Americans wh...

Greg rated it ★★★★☆

October 24, 2017

I got this book from the library and read about a third of it. What’s interesting about Servon’s approach is that she actually got a job as a teller at RiteCheck, which is a check cashing service in the South Bronx. “Before working as a teller, I assumed that mainstream and alternative financial s...

Rachel rated it ★★★★☆

February 02, 2017

This is really a 3.5 rating. I learned of this book when the author was interviewed on Fresh Air. The first half of the book is great, chronicling her time working in the alternative financial services market. It was really insightful to learn why people, acting as rational actors, use check cash...

Ian rated it ★★★★☆

February 11, 2018

In 2000, Robert Putnam wrote Bowling Alone, which traced the decline of an integrated American society into one of segmented and stratified sub-societies. This book continues that vein by looking specifically at its impact on financial services. According to Lisa Servon, a professor of city and re...

Athan rated it ★★★★★

May 11, 2017

The Unbanking of America is better than a treatise on US consumer financial services has any right to be. Author Lisa Servon, a university professor, has dedicated a large part of her life to this book, exploring “unbanked” America from every possible aspect: the data (which she found inadequate)...

Nathan rated it ★★★★★

February 09, 2017

Lisa Servon’s timely new book, The Unbanking of America, explains how and why Americans are using “alternative financial service providers” to circumvent traditional banks. The how is told through her engaging first hand account of working at check cashers and retail payday loan establishments. T...

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