To download the full report, click here. 

Executive Summary

One of the most interesting findings is the consistent way in which non-prime Americans feel unserved by traditional banking institutions.


Financial Institution of Choice

  • Non-prime Americans are significantly less likely to use a National Bank.
  • 6x as likely to use an online-only financial institution
  • 8x as likely to not use a bank

Confidence and Opinions of their Financial Institution

  • They are 54% less likely to have confidence in approval for a credit card
  • 21% less likely to believe their financial institution has products designed for them
  • They are 48% less likely to believe they would be approved for a personal loan
  • Rate customer service at financial institutions almost the same as their prime peers
  • Significantly more likely to believe their financial institution charges excessive fees

Experience in the Last Year

  • Nearly 3x as likely to have paid a fee to their financial institution over the past 12 months
  • 4x as likely to have been denied a loan over the last year

 

Type of Financial Institution Used

Non-prime Americans are less likely to engage with a traditional
bank, but they don’t turn any more often to credit unions.

 

Q.2: What kind of bank do you use for most of your day-to-day banking needs? Select one.
Base: Total Respondents

 

People don’t feel like banks cater to them

Non-prime Americans are six times as likely to use an online-only bank for their day-to-day needs compared to prime Americans.

 

Q.2: What kind of bank do you use for most of your day-to-day banking needs? Select one.
Base: Total Respondents

 

Self-banking

One in 12 non-prime Americans claim not to use a bank or a credit union for their day-to-day financial needs.

 

Q.2: What kind of bank do you use for most of your day-to-day banking needs? Select one. Base: Total Respondents

 

Most people feel like their bank understands their needs

Almost two-thirds of customers (both prime and non-prime) feel that their bank understands their needs.

 

Q.3: Thinking about the [BANK TYPE] you use for most of your day-to-day banking needs, how much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Base: Total Respondents; All Bank Types

 

People are satisfied with the service they get from their banks

Banks do a good job of providing a level of service that customers appreciate, both prime and non-prime.

 

Q.3: Thinking about the [BANK TYPE] you use for most of your day-to-day banking needs, how much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Base: Total Respondents; All Bank Types

 

People don’t see banks as difficult to work with

By in large, people see their banks as institutions that are easy to work with.

 

Q.3: Thinking about the [BANK TYPE] you use for most of your day-to-day banking needs, how much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Base: Total Respondents; All Bank Types

 

Half of non-prime American look to banks first

Half of non-prime Americans would like to turn to their bank first for a personal loan.

 

Q.3: Thinking about the [BANK TYPE] you use for most of your day-to-day banking needs, how much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Base: Total Respondents; All Bank Types

 

When in need of a personal loan, non-prime Americans don’t feel they can turn to their bank

Only a third of non-prime Americans feel that their bank would give them a personal loan should they need it.

 

Q.3: Thinking about the [BANK TYPE] you use for most of your day-to-day banking needs, how much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Base: Total Respondents; All Bank Types

 

People don’t feel like banks cater to them

Two-thirds of non-prime Americans don’t believe that banks design products for them. Amazingly, almost half of prime Americans also feel that way.

 

Q.3: Thinking about the [BANK TYPE] you use for most of your day-to-day banking needs, how much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Base: Total Respondents; All Bank Types

 

Non-prime rightly understand that their bank has no credit card appropriate for them

Only a third of non-prime Americans feel that their bank could offer them a credit card.

 

Q.3: Thinking about the [BANK TYPE] you use for most of your day-to-day banking needs, how much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Base: Total Respondents; All Bank Types

 

Discomfort associated with applying for a loan

Banks could do more to help people feel more comfortable with the process of applying for credit.

 

Q.3: Thinking about the [BANK TYPE] you use for most of your day-to-day banking needs, how much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Base: Total Respondents; All Bank Types

 

Banks and fees

Non-prime consumers are 22% more likely than prime consumers to say that their bank charges excessive fees.

 

Q.3: Thinking about the [BANK TYPE] you use for most of your day-to-day banking needs, how much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Base: Total Respondents; All Bank Types

 

Receiving a denial

Half of non-prime Americans are four times as likely to have been denied for a loan by their bank in the prior 12 months.

 

Q.4: Which of the following activities have occurred in the past 12 months at the [BANK TYPE] you use most often? Base: Total Respondents; All Bank Types

 

Bank fees

Half of non-prime Americans paid at least one fee to their bank within the last 12 months. They are 2.8x more likely than prime to say so.

 

Q.4: Which of the following activities have occurred in the past 12 months at the [BANK TYPE] you use most often? Base: Total Respondents; All Bank Types

 

Do banks support people’s financial progress?

Only half of respondents felt like their bank cares whether they make financial progress.

 

Q.3: Thinking about the [BANK TYPE] you use for most of your day-to-day banking needs, how much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Base: Total Respondents; All Bank Types

 

Methodology

The primary purpose of this study was to determine how non-prime Americans
were similar or different from those with prime credit when interacting with a
financial institution.


Interview Dates: February 2-5, 2018


Sample Specs:

  • Total Respondents = 1,005
  • Sample Source: Ipsos eNation Omnibus

Qualification Criteria:

  • Ages 18+
  • Personal income: Any
  • Geography – U.S. Rep
  • Has a checking or savings account

Survey: 5 custom questions on the Ipsos Omnibus survey.


About Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class

Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class conducts research, engages in dialogue, and builds cooperation to generate understanding of the behaviors, attitudes, and experiences of America’s growing “New Middle Class.”