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DIFS Highlights the Benefits of an Account with a Financial Institution During Financial Literacy Month

Media Contact: Laura Hall, 517-290-3779,
Consumer Hotline: 877-999-6442,


(LANSING, MICH) April is Financial Literacy Month and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is reminding consumers of the financial benefits of having a relationship with a bank or credit union and the availability of low- or no-cost accounts through the Michigan Open Account Coalition (MOAC).

“A relationship with a financial institution can save Michiganders money on check cashing and other fees, as well as facilitate access to home loans and other important financial services,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Opening an account at a bank or credit union is a great first step toward establishing sound financial practices, building credit, and saving for emergencies – all important to achieving financial security.”

Michiganders without an account at a bank or credit union spend an average of $3,000 a year on fees for check cashing, money orders, bill pay services, third-party debit cards, and more. To help Michiganders avoid these costs and improve their financial wellness, the MOAC was formed in March 2022 by DIFS, the Michigan Bankers Association, Michigan Credit Union League, and community organizations. Its mission is to encourage relationships between financial institutions and historically underserved communities, to educate consumers about the importance of having a relationship with a financial institution, and to promote the availability of, and access to, consumer financial accounts.

All MI Open Accounts are certified by the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund, and follow the CFE’s National Account Standards which includes: 

  • No overdraft, account activation, closure, dormancy, inactivity, and low balance fees
  • Limits on ATM fees (no fees in-network; $3 or less out-of-network)
  • A limit on minimum opening deposits ($25 or less)
  • A limit on monthly maintenance fees ($5 or less)

Currently, there are more than 1,000 financial institution branches offering these accounts in 67 counties. For more information on the Michigan Open Account Coalition and a list of participating financial institutions, visit

Consumers who have questions or disputes that cannot be directly resolved with their financial institutions can contact DIFS Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 877-999-6442 or file a complaint online at

The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit or follow the Department on Facebook, X, or LinkedIn.