Support the Check Cashing Fairness Act



Support SB 2433 – Check Cashing Fairness Act

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The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) has proposed a double-digit increase in the maximum rate that currency exchanges may charge for check-cashing. JCAR will consider the rate increase on March 13, 2018. SB 2433 would cut and cap the rates on government and public assistance checks (at 1.5 percent and 0.5 percent respectively); cap the rates on printed payroll checks at the current rates; and require IDFPR to consider the impact on consumers when setting rates on personal and other checks.


The table below reflects – for a $500 check – the proposed rates.  (According to an industry report, the average check amount is $463.83.)


Type of Check (@$500)

Current Rate


SB 2433

Public assistance




Government check (e.g., EITC)




Printed paycheck




Personal and other checks




*SB 2433 is silent on personal and other checks, so the rate hike would take effect on those checks.


The table below shows examples of the maximum fees under the current rate as compared to the proposed rate.


Check Amount

Current Fee












People without bank accounts (the “unbanked”), who are disproportionately lower-income, African American and Hispanic, and working-age persons with disabilities, would be hurt most by a rate hike. Over 350,000 households are unbanked in Illinois (FDIC 2016).


Unbanked households are in a worse position today to afford a rate increase as compared to the last time rates were increased in 2007.  Median household incomes are nearly three percent lower than they were in 2007 (American Community Survey). The median Black/African-American household income is ten percent lower and the median Hispanic/Latino household income is six percent lower as compared to 2007.


SB 2433 would put Illinois in line with the 21 states that apply a different rate depending on the type of check (for example, lower rates for government checks than for personal checks, which are higher risk to the currency exchange). Of the four states that do not set different rates for different types of checks (New York, West Virginia, Delaware, and Illinois), Illinois has the highest rates.


For more information, contact Brent Adams at or 773-844-5544.