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Perhaps you’ve entered an IVA (individual voluntary arrangement) or have missed payments in the past and now you’re trying to get back on track. Getting yourself a new current account can become unnecessarily complex, but only if you don’t know where to look.
We did some research and found how you can open a bank account without being credit-checked, so that even if your credit score is poor, it doesn’t turn into a stressful experience.
The main reason why you are credit-checked when applying for current accounts is that most will come with an overdraft facility. If you want to avoid a credit check at all costs because you think you may be refused, you have two main options:
They’re both suitable options, but depending on your banking style and preferences, you may be better off with one or the other.
New digital-only banks that promise slick apps and an effortless banking experience are proliferating in the UK, so you’re spoilt for choice. Monzo and Starling are among the most popular ones and they’re both fully licensed banks, while Revolut is really competitive if you also have to send money abroad fairly often. Aside from allowing you to open a bank account without worrying about your credit score, these banks also offer a few other features that can be useful to keep your personal finances in good order.
The downside, as you might have guessed, is that they don’t have physical branches, so you can’t go and discuss your circumstances in person.
Monzo and Starling also offer an overdraft facility with their accounts, but your credit history will only be checked if you actively apply for one.
If you’re more into old school banking and don’t particularly like the idea of trusting your phone with your current account access, basic accounts are the second best option to open a current account with bad credit.
Banks don’t advertise them too much because they prefer customers to which they can offer an overdraft (that they can make money out of). However, if you look for them, you should be able to find them easily, and some banks will offer one to you if you don’t pass the checks for a standard account.
Basic current accounts aren’t that different from standard ones: you’ll still get a debit card and will be able to receive your salary, make and receive payments and deposit and withdraw cash.
However, you usually won’t be able to access the best current account deals, such as switching incentives or interest paid on your balance. While this is less than ideal, a basic current account will do the job.
Nothing! Most digital accounts and basic accounts have no monthly fee at all. In some cases you may still be charged for some features, for example, using your debit card abroad, but with many challenger banks that’s free too.
You’ll also find some dedicated current accounts for people with bad credit that charge a monthly fee and offer some extra features to help you keep your finances under control. They are an option and in some cases those features can be useful, but be aware that they are not your only choice, even if you can’t pass the standard credit check.
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