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.
3 Online Banks to open an instant checking account
1. Current – Banking for modern life
Current Account does not use ChexSytems or a credit report to open accounts. One unique feature Current offers are no-holds on debit card gas purchases. Some gas stations may apply a hold of up to $100 when you use a debit card. These holds lock the amount being held, making it unavailable for spending. The Current debit card will immediately refund the hold so that you don’t have available funds locked for days.
Current Account Features
- $10 minimum opening deposit.
- Savings feature that pays 4.00% APY on balances up to $6,000.
- No overdraft fees when you overdraw by up to $200 with Overdrive™.
- Get your paycheck up to 2 days early with direct deposit.
- Earn points for unlimited cashback at participating retailers.
- Gas station holds immediately credited to your account.
- Send money instantly for free.
- 24/7 member support.
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2. OneUnited Bank
OneUnited Bank’s U2 E-Checking Account is a second chance checking account available to people in all states. To apply you must first enter your name and email address plus choose the “Debit/Checking” option then click the button “Apply Today.”
During the application process, you’ll need to choose the “U2 E-Checking (2nd Chance) Account” option plus choose a plain debit card or one of their specialty debit card designs.
U2 E-Checking Account Details:
- Minimum opening deposit of $50
- Get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposit
- Free Online & Mobile Banking
- Obtain Cash, Surcharge Free at Over 25,000 ATMs Nationwide
- Deposit checks through the mobile app using Mobile Remote Deposit Capture
- Monthly service charge of $12.00 for checking
- Free Bill Pay
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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.
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.