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How to open a bank account with bad credit

Prior to opening a bank account you will need to decide what type of account that you need to apply for. The sections below describe some of the considerations that you should have.

The first thing that you need to decide when opening a bank account is to decide what facilities you require. If it is a bad credit account that you are looking for then the number of facilities available to you will be less than the number available to someone with a good credit rating. However this should not deter you from looking around and finding what is best for you.

If you have a bad credit record then you may not be able to find an account with credit facilities.

An obvious consideration to have is the fact that you will be credit checked when you apply for a bank account. Although with a bad credit rating this can usually lead to problems it does not necessarily have to cause you problems. If you already know that you have a poor credit rating because you have missed repayments on credit agreements or because you have been previously repossessed or made bankrupt then you may wish to avoid applying for current accounts and instead apply for a guaranteed bank account or a basic bank account. It will save you time and heart ache.

Establishing the minimum acceptance criteria that a bank has for one of their accounts can save you a lot of time. For example, some banks will not accept undischarged bankrupts even for their basic bank accounts. If you have a record of fraud then you can almost certainly forget being accept by a high street bank.

Fortunately, for most bad credit bank accounts the minimum acceptance criteria is quite low. For example, with most basic bank accounts the minimum age to open one is 16 and providing you have not committed fraud or an undischarged bankrupt then you may well be eligible to open one. Only a couple of banks will accept bankrupts and even then there is no guarantee that you will be accepted. As previously discussed guaranteed bank accounts and prepaid cards exist as an alternative.

Cost will be a consideration when seeking a bank account for bad credit. You should consider the cost of opening the account, running it and the cost of any additional services.

The type of costs that you should check for and compare are:

  • Account opening fees
  • Recurring service fees
  • Transaction fees
  • Penalties
  • Cancellation fees

Each type of bank account has a slightly different charging structure. If you have a bad credit rating and opt for a managed bank account or a prepaid card then although you will have to pay for the account, there are usually no penalties for going overdrawn as you are not allowed to. This can be a blessing in disguise as a small fee each month will almost certainly work out cheaper than extortionate interest and bank charges.

Often a good question is “When is the best time to apply for a bank account?”. Well, the best time to apply is when your credit rating is not in tatters, though that is easier said than done and you probably would not be seeking a bank account for bad credit if your credit rating was in order. The answer to your question is that it all depends on your personal circumstances but definitely after you have done your homework before deciding on the best account for you.

For example, if you are about to go bankrupt then you will need to consider when to apply, before or after. For more information about bankruptcy bank accounts see the bank accounts for bankrupts website.


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Opening A Bank Account With No Credit Check

People with bad credit may want to look into opening a bank account with no credit check. These accounts are available to individuals with bad credit and do not use the traditional ChexSystem as a way to verify the creditworthiness of the account holder. These accounts can be found online and are offered by a variety of bank and other financial institutions.

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Opening a current account with poor credit

Published on Tuesday 08 August 2017

If you suffer from a poor credit score, getting financial products can seem an uphill struggle.

Opening a checking account with bad credit

But when it comes to basic bank accounts, you won’t always need your details to be passed through a credit check so at least this area of your finances can be straightforward.

What kind of bank account can I get?

There are a variety of reasons why you may be rejected for a standard bank account, which could include missed bill payments in your past, not being on the electoral roll, or having CCJs against your name – all of which will give you a poor credit record.

But you may still be able to qualify for a basic bank account as they are designed for people with poor credit scores. This is because they don’t offer overdraft facilities or interest if you’re in credit. They are simply a place to store your money and pay bills by direct debit. Some will also come with a debit card though, so you can still make payments online for example.

Basic bank accounts don’t tend to be widely publicised as they’re not likely to make banks as much money as standard or packaged accounts (which comes with benefits that you pay for monthly). If you fail the credit check on one of these, however, you should ideally be offered a basic bank account.

Are there charges for basic accounts?

Basic bank accounts don’t tend to charge a monthly fee as the offering is very simple – but you will still be charged a penalty if you don’t have enough money in your account for a direct debit for example. This could be up to £25 so it pays to make sure you manage your money effectively in one of these accounts.

Basic bank accounts don’t tend to charge a monthly fee as the offering is very simple

Managed accounts, which are also a form of basic bank account however, can charge a monthly fee and usually come with an initial set-up costs too.

Can I definitely open a basic bank account?

There are few people who won’t be able to open one of these accounts, even if you’ve declared bankruptcy in the past. However, you may still struggle if you have criminal convictions for fraud – although a criminal record alone doesn’t mean you definitely won’t be able to get a bank account. You’ll also need the required identification, which includes a passport or driving licence.

How do I find details of poor credit current accounts?

For anyone with a history of bad credit, a comparison service such as MoneySuperMarket will enable you to compare the basic bank accounts on the market to find the best option for you. You can then contact the providers and see which will accept a customer in your circumstances. This one-stop-shop makes it simple to see those current account providers who are willing to offer basic bank accounts to people with poor credit scores.

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