Bank on Illinois

Welcome to Bank On Illinois

The goal of Bank On Illinois is to ensure that residents have access to a safe and affordable bank or credit union account. Bank On Illinois is a collaborative initiative between the State of Illinois, community organizations and financial institutions. All partners in the coalition are committed to improving the financial stability of Illinois residents.

Through Bank On Illinois you can find an affordable bank or credit union account now that will help you get your unemployment and other emergency benefits faster, and more safely. Prepaid cards may charge fees for using ATMs or accessing customer service and will not allow you to load cash or other payments onto the card so you can keep your money all in one place.


Having trouble opening one of these accounts? Contact the customer service of the bank or credit union where you want to open your account or you can also review our frequently asked questions.


The Bank On Illinois Commission, established by Public Act 101-0427, is a coalition comprised of state and city elected officials, financial institutions, and community organizations that work together to improve the financial stability of unbanked and underbanked residents in Illinois.

Many households in Illinois do not have a checking or savings account and rely on costly check-cashing and other alternative financial services. For these residents, opening a safe, affordable and non-predatory checking or savings account is an important step toward improving financial wellness. Bank On Illinois helps make that step easier. Under and unbanked populations are targeted by predatory lenders, such as auto title lenders, cash checkers, payday lenders and pawnshops.

These non-bank financial entities take advantage of low-income and immigrant lenders by charging high, long-term fees, in exchange for requiring low information lending documentation. In 2008, the Brookings Institute found that, on average, a full-time worker that forgoes traditional retail banking products is charged roughly $40,000 in lifetime fees. Another example, a household with an income of $32,000 per year can typically spend up to $2,400 annually simply cashing paychecks at check-cashing locations. Those funds could instead be put towards savings accounts, college savings plans, or other important financial goals.

This effort is made possible thanks to The Cities for Financial Empowerment fund (CFE fund). The CFE fund leads a national movement that supports local coalition efforts to expand banking access for consumers outside the financial mainstream.

The CFE fund and Bank On Illinois Commission recognize that banking access is of critical importance in today’s world, and will work together to ensure ease of access to banking that is equitable both for individuals and community financial organizations. Further, the Bank On Illinois Commission will ensure that there is a strong partnership between regulators, banks, the State of Illinois, and nonprofit agencies. Indeed, the implementation of this program is a joint effort by stakeholders and partners committed to the cause.

To get certified please click here: Join Bank On

For more information about Bank On Illinois send an email to:

Bank On Events

Bank On Illinois Meetings

  • Mar
    Bank On Illinois Commission Meeting - Wednesday, March 6th, 10:00 am
  • Jun
    Bank On Illinois Commission Meeting - Wednesday, June 5th, 10:00 am
  • Sept
    Bank On Illinois Commission Meeting - Wednesday, September 4th, 10:00 am
  • Dec
    Bank On Illinois Commission Meeting - Wednesday, December 4th, 10:00 am

Neither the Illinois Bank On Initiative, the Illinois Office of Comptroller, nor the State of Illinois (The "State") are liable for damages resulting from the use of any Certified Financial Product(s) ("CFPs") offered by any financial institution as part of the Illinois Bank On Initiative. All CFPs are administered solely by the offering financial institution.

The State can only provide general information regarding CFPs and cannot advise customers on detailed financial matters. This includes, but is not limited to, interpretations of federal, state, and local law, tax calculations, and calculations of payments and fees. Consult your own legal, financial, or tax professional, including, but not limited to, tax attorneys and Certified Public Accountants, for such specific information.