6 reasons to be unbanked or underbanked

You had a bad customer service experience
You had a bad customer service experience © Ivelin Radkov/

A bad customer service experience can cause you to consider switching banks or giving up on the banking system entirely. Most of us just complain to friends or vent on social media, but according to data from Pew, about 6 percent of the nation's unbanked population are actually driven to quit their banks because of a bad customer service experience.

"I think this is a weak excuse," Weiss says. "Sure, I become annoyed with my bank from time to time and in fact, I've diminished my relationship with what was my principal depository institution because of that."

But Weiss didn't give up on the banking system altogether. Instead, he chose a different bank that offered better service. After all, there are a lot of banks and credit unions to choose from.

"Consumers should look to smaller, local institutions and credit unions as alternatives to the megabanks," he says. "Many will rebate foreign ATM fees, which is an important consideration if you travel a bit, and the minimum account-balance requirements may also be gentler. It all comes down to comparison-shopping."


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