Yesterday I wrote about local pastors’ fight against fast-cash lenders, after which District 10 Councilman Jerry Allen pointed out to me that the city recently launched an initiative that gives families who don’t have bank accounts an alternative to check cashing businesses and payday lenders (which often cohabitate). According to Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (by way of City of Dallas news release):

—about 20 percent of households in Dallas don’t use a bank

—members of these households may pay up to $40,000 over a lifetime simply to cash checks many entities who provide check cashing services also aggressively market pay day loans, title loans and refund-anticipation loans at a high cost.

The result: short term credit that equals long term debt with high interest rate/fees.

The city’s program, dubbed Bank on Dallas could be good for all residents in certain parts of Lake Highlands, even those of us who do have bank accounts — if families and individuals without bank accounts started using this service instead of the gaudy check cashing services, not only would they be better off financially, but also, their (everybody’s) neighborhood landscape would be much more aesthetically pleasing.

The Bank on Dallas web site offers a list of participating banks, and staffers at the participating banks can walk interested parties through the entire process. You can also call 214.671.BANK to learn more.