Keep more of what you earn

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As the saying goes, “Sometimes, there’s too much month left at the end of the money.” And for far too many Central Texas, this is the reality: work hard, make a little money, pay for the bare minimums, then do it all again with the next paycheck.

The result? Almost half of us are living in poverty or teetering precariously on the brink of it. In fact, 40% of Central Texas families live below the Family Budget Estimator (FBE)—the real and basic costs of living in our region.

Bank Locator

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My bank account should have the following (check all that apply):

I have had problems with a bank account in the past (bounced checks, overdraft, unpaid fees) which led to the account being closed:

My local bank branch should be located within

miles of this Central Texas zip code:

On the day I open my account, I plan to deposit (select one):

I need a bank with staff that can speak Spanish:

 
 

Download our Financial Toolkit

Includes important and helpful information on:

    • How to open a bank account
    • Alternatives to pawnshop loans, payday loans and subprime credit cards
    • Debt management plans
    • Income tax return preparation
    • And much more!

Start Saving Money Today

Today, everyone can get a checking, savings or debit account. You can deposit your money for free or at a low-cost and pay your bills for no additional cost. Even if you’ve had problems with an account in the past, have never had an account before, or don’t have a Social Security number, you can open an account in Central Texas.

Bank On Central Texas has more than 40 partner branches in the Greater Austin area. Use the tools on this page to learn more just how easy and affordable opening a bank can be:

  • Bank Locator: Bank on Central Texas has more than 40 partner branches in Central Texas. Use our convenient locator tool or call 2-1-1 Texas to find the participating financial partner that’s best for you.
  • Savings Calculator: Use this simple calculator to find out how much you can save each month with a bank account. Information you supply will remain confidential.
  • Financial Toolkit: You work hard for your money! Download our Financial Toolkit to find out how you can pocket more.
  • Financial Education Classes and Trainings: Attend financial education sessions in your area!
  • Frequently Asked Questions: Have questions about opening a bank account? Get your questions answered here.
  • Additional Resources: Check out other ways United Way for Greater Austin can help you improve your financial situation.

Learn How to Keep More of Your Money

For information about financial education classes and trainings, view this calendar.

Additional Resources

Use this list of resources to get help reducing your everyday expenses, claim all of the credits and benefits you are owed, and start building assets for the future.

 

Free Tax Preparation 

UWATX supports Foundation Communities to provide free high-quality tax return preparation for families and individuals living in the Austin area.  Income requirements vary by household size. Dial 2-1-1 to find a Community Tax Center near you or file your taxes online at myfreetaxes.com/uwatx.

 

2-1-1 Texas

2-1-1 is a free, easy-to-use phone number staffed by trained professionals who are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When a caller dials 2-1-1, he / she is provided with one-call access to health care and various human services, such as finding assistance with rent, employment help or food. Search for resources.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why do I need an account?
2. How do I open an account?
3. A bank told me I am on ChexSystems. What does this mean and how do I get a copy of my ChexSystems report ?
4. I have no idea what my credit is like. Where can I get a copy of my credit report?
5. I need to start building my credit. How can a bank help me?
6. I think my identity has been stolen. Where can I find help with identity theft?
7. I am having trouble paying my bills. How can I reduce my debt?
8. I am worried I might need to declare bankruptcy; where can I go for help?
9. I have a mortgage and now I am worried about being foreclosed; who can I call?
10. I am a Mexican citizen and I don’t have a Texas driver’s license. How do I get a Mexican Matricula card?

1. Why do I need an account? 

With a free or low-cost bank account, you can start to save for the future and establish a credit history that will help become more financially stable.

2. How do I open an account? 

Use our easy bank locator tool or call the United Way Navigation Center (just dial 2-1-1) to find a participating financial partner with account options that meet your needs, a friendly representative will answer all your questions and walk you through each step of the process.

3. A bank told me I am on ChexSystems. What does this mean and how do I get a copy of my ChexSystems report?

A copy of your ChexSystems report can help you understand why you have been denied opening a bank account. If you have been denied in the past 60 days because of ChexSystems, you can access your report online. Otherwise you can write to ChexSystems, Inc. to send you your report. Click here to access your report.

4. I have no idea what my credit is like. Where can I get a copy of my credit report? 

You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus (Transunion, Experion, and Equifax) every year. You can request and view your report online. Click here to view your report.

The Federal Reserve Bank has published a pamphlet explaining your credit report, why your credit score is important, and how to use your report.

5. I need to start building my credit. How can a bank help me?

Several banks now offer secured credit cards.  A secured credit card is different from a non-secured credit card because it is backed by a cash deposit which can help establish or rebuild credit.  Making regular, on-time payments to a secured credit card can help build a healthy credit score.  Use the bank locator tool to identify banks that offer a secured credit card.

6. I think my identity has been stolen. Where can I find help with identity theft?

Federal Trade Commission provides an entire Web site about identity theft, including how to prevent identity theft and how to recover your identity if it has been stolen. Click here to visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website “Fighting Back Against Identity Theft.”

The Federal Reserve Bank has also published a guide on “How to Establish, Use, and Protect your Credit.” Click here to view the guide.

7. I am having trouble paying my bills. How can I reduce my debt? 

In the Central Texas area, you can call the Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS), a nonprofit financial resource center that offers tools to help you set and achieve financial goals. If your goal is to eliminate or manage your debt, CCCS also offers free, confidential consultations to help you achieve this goal. Visit their website or call (800) 777-PLAN.

8. I am worried I might need to declare bankruptcy; where can I go for help? 

In the Central Texas area, you can call the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Texas (CCCS), a nonprofit financial resource center that offers tools to help you set and achieve financial goals. To view their tools, click here. If your goal is to avoid filing for bankruptcy or to understand the bankruptcy process, they will counsel you through the process.

9. I have a mortgage and now I am worried about being foreclosed; who can I call? 

You are not alone. Call the National Foreclosure Prevention Hotline: (888) 995-HOPE where your call will be answered by a homeownership counselor who can understand your situation and help with your next steps.

Additionally, Frameworks Community Development Corporation is a local organization that can also assist you with mortgage issues. You can visit their website or call 512.385.1500.

10. I am a Mexican citizen and I don’t have a Texas driver’s license. How do I get a Mexican Matricula card? 

To apply for a Matricula card from the Central Texas Mexican Consulate office, you must make an appointment with the Consulate. Visit their website and learn about eligibility requirements and how to make an appointment or call (512) 478-2866.