Bank Account Articles

Basic Bank Account FAQs

Basic Bank Account FAQs

Here are a few of the questions people often ask about basic bank accounts.

Can I apply for a basic bank account even though I have a bad credit rating?
Yes. Anyone should be able to apply for a Basic Bank Account regardless of any past credit problems however if you apply for a basic bank account from one of the high street banks they will almost certainly check your credit history which may mean you could be declined or refused an account. There are other basic bank accounts available which will not check your credit however these basic bank accounts generally charge either a set-up fee or a modest monthly management fee.

What if I have a CCJ (County Court Judgement)?
Yes you can still apply for a basic bank account even if you have a CCJ although again the bank account provider may want to check your past credit history which depending on your individual circumstances may effect your application although there are alternatives which will definitely be available to you assuming you can identify yourself and are prepared to pay the modest costs involved.

What if I have been Bankrupt, can I still apply for a basic bank account?
If you have or indeed still are bankrupt then your best option is to simply find a managed basic bank account provider and apply for your bank account there as they will not ask about your past credit problems or check your credit file, which will show any past or current problems you have had. There are a few available who offer excellent banking facilities and open to everyone who can identify themselves with a guaranteed no credit check policy. The two main ones currently on offer are the CardOne Bank Account which is Free to set-up and costs £12.50 per month and the Think Banking Bank Account which is £25.00 to set-up and £14.50 a month - both comes with an attached card, Internet, Phone & text banking, Standing orders or Direct debits and a UK support call centre.

Why have I been turned down for a Basic Bank Account?
If you have applied to a high street bank for a basic bank account then there is every chance it has been declined because of your past credit history or adverse credit problems but you may wish to ask why you have been declined. If you apply for either a CardOne Basic Bank Account or a Think Banking Basic Bank Account you will only be declined for that bank account if you cannot be identified and it is generally considered that if you have lived in your current address for more than 3 years and are on the electoral role, you may well be accepted without the need of providing any supporting documentation.

How can I improve my credit rating?
There are some ways in which you can help improve your credit rating, like ensuring you are on the electoral register to having a land line phone number however the best way is to ensure you pay back any credit you have on time, so make sure that you pay on time and any agreed amount. A creditor (or someone who is going to offer you credit) wants to see some evidence that you have repaid any credit you have previously had and you can demonstrate this by ensuring you make any repayments in full and on time. If you already have a serious credit problem you can either contact the credit agencies yourself or employ the services of a Credit Improvement company who will (for a fee) help you with repairing your poor credit rating. (Turner Little - 0845 474 2917 offer a Credit Repair service with prices starting at £85.00 + VAT. You can speak to one of their specialist and are under no obligation to proceed if you do)

I'm a declared bankrupt. Can I apply for a basic bank account?
You can always apply for a basic bank account no matter what past credit problems you have had, including being a bankrupt however there is a strong chance you will be declined unless you apply at a no credit check basic bank account provider like CardOne Banking or Think Banking, who will not take into account your past credit problems and will only look at being able to identify you.
The thinkbanking account is open to anyone who's a UK resident and over the age of 18 and as long as you can prove your identity and address, you can open a thinkbanking account - even if you've not yet been discharged from bankruptcy. Be aware that there's a set-up fee and a monthly management fee (£25 and £14.50 respectively).
The CardOne Bank Account is also open to anyone who's a UK resident and 18 years or older and must also be able to prove your identity - discharged or current bankrupts can apply and their charges are Free to set-up and £12.50 per month.

Both of these basic bank accounts have no fixed contract and you can cancel at anytime, so you will not be tied in to either of them.

I'm not sure if I have got problems with my credit history. Should I apply for a basic bank account?

The cheapest and best best bank accounts, whether basic bank accounts or not, are offered by the high street bank providers (See the bank accounts listed here) so if you can we would suggest you try these banks first. They generally will not charge you any fees for setting up the bank account or (assuming you do not go overdrawn) any monthly fees. Once you have applied you will soon see if you have been accepted or not and would only look at other basic bank account options if you need to. In fact you may well be able to open a basic bank account with a high street bank but your problem will be , if you are restricted to a basic bank account, will be you will not have access to Internet banking, a debit card or many of the other essential facilities like direct debits or standing orders.

Are there any overdraft facilities with a basic bank account?
No. None of the Basic bank accounts available come with any overdraft or credit facilities and you will only be able to spend or withdraw what money you have cleared in your account.

Can I set up Direct Debits or Standing Orders with a basic bank account?

Yes and No! If you open a basic bank account with a high street bank then your facilities will be very restricted so Direct Debits & Standing Orders will not be available however the basic bank accounts on offer from CardOne Banking and Think Banking do offer the facility to make regular monthly payments, making your life considerably easier assuming you have sufficient funds in your account.

Hopefully some of these FAQs will help you however if you are still unsure, then we would always suggest speaking to an adviser at any high street bank first to see if you can qualify for one of their bank accounts as assuming you don't go overdrawn, this will prove to be the cheapest bank account you will be able to open.

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