Why do the poor people bring in cash to make payments?

Excuse me, I’m very fiscally ignorant (I’m changing this slowly)…it’s something I notice.

When poor people (I can tell!) send payments, it’s almost always cash. I’m not trying to stereotype…I know they are getting cash from other ways besides selling drugs or selling sex. Why don’t they write checks or make credit card payments?

You can’t get a bank account these days without a credit check.

They don’t have the credit rating to get a credit card. They also may not be able to get a bank account due to past problems (I know someone who bounced enough checks that her bank basically told her she wasn’t a customer of theirs any longer), or may not trust banks. Some people here illegally or working “under the table” may not trust banks/trust the government, and pay in cash. They cash any checks they do get at check cashing locations (for a decent penalty in fees).

Can’t bank without money/credit.

I hope I am not being wooshed…but to add to the reasons already stated a bank account may be an unaffordable luxury.

A lot of banks have monthly fees, especially when one has a low balance, in addition to check fees and overdraft fees that could easily happen if one was not vigilant and there was only a small amount available. Once you overdraft once, and are unable to immediately pay the fee these things tend to snowball, so one could quickly go from a bank account with 10 to one with -100 which would be even harder to climb out from under.

I have a friend that can’t even cash his checks at Walmart. When you swipe your debit card it can be declined for many reasons. Lack of credit, poor credit or bank fraud at another bank. He also has something in his licence that flags them not to cash his checks. He has called a lot of numbers trying to figure it out but so far he has gotten no where. Veri sign is the company that refuses him.

I would never send cash. A money order is safer.

heh, i always pay in cash in person. if they don’t have an office, i don’t do business with em. don’t you think “the poor” is generalizing a bit, though? I’m “broke” at the moment, but i’ve still got a bank account.

I’ve known several upper middle class families personally who keep a stash of emergency cash in the house. I’ve also had what seem to be upper middle class folks make large payments in cash for emergency care on their pets from what, I can only presume, was the same kind of stash. Not everyone who pays in cash is poor.

Yes, but there is almost always a fee to take out a money order. One of my banks, for example, charges CAD 7.00. The lower the amount you have to send (particularly if it’s so low that it’s less than the money order fee), the more economical it is to send cash.

Around here Hispanics are known for keeping a lot of cash at home and because of that they are frequent targets of home robberies.

In addition to other reasons cited, their bank account may have been subjected to garnishments by creditors.

This is true. We are what I would call “lower middle class” possibly middle-middle class. We have bank accounts and credit cards (which we pay off each month that we use them so there is currently a zero balance). But still I like to keep a smallish stash of actual cash money on hand “for emergencies”.

While not everyone who pays in cash is “poor” the poor-er do tend to use exclusively cash (or possibly money orders) more than those of us who can afford not to.

I like to make as many transactions as possible in cash. Saves time, and I don’t want anything on my CCs right now. Everything in person is cash.

Also, I work for cash - waitressing, working at a coffee shop, and doing various other things where I get tips or cash under the table. Unless I go put it in the bank every day, I’ve always got some in my pocket.

I don’t know if the OP would consider me poor. I make around 20,000 per year and live alone.

Why don’t they just pay in bread?

Cause they don’t have the dough.

When my credit was horrible, I used cash as a means to keep creditors from attaching anything. Once they find out where you live it’s easy enough to attach things.

I’ve done collections, once you find out where someone lives, the best way is to send out an attachment to every bank in a five mile radius. I rarely had this fail. People bank close to where they live.

Money orders are fine but worthless if they’re lost. It can take a year to get a replacement and in the meantime you have to come up with the cash to cover the bill again.

Usually you can get a free checking account unless you’re credit is bad. If you’re poor with good or no credit there’s no issue there, for the most part, unless you live in some small area that has only a few banks.

I pay cash for my 5/3 credit card because you can’t pay online unless you open a checking or saving account with them and pay the 5/3 credit card out of that account. So I just pay it in cash in person at the end of each month.

Of course they always try to get me to open a 5/3 account but I don’t

I know someone who had their bank account wiped out by a creditor last week. They can’t garnish your bank accounts if there’s nothing to garnish.

Crap. You guys have suddenly given me new motivation to stop screening my phone calls.

I hope this isn’t too much of a hijack, but what happens then? If a bank account is garnished, but there is nothing there to take, does the garnishment just sit around waiting for a deposit to be made or does the creditor doing the garnishment have to start all over?

I don’t know, sorry. All I know is that the debt was from a credit card, and he swears he did not receive any communication from them about the garnishment beforehand. It’s my understanding this is not possible, because even the IRS (which has the greatest power to do this type of stuff) will notify you before they garnish your accounts.