Opening a bank account with no credit check

You can open a bank account with bad credit. Many banks offer basic bank accounts and digital bank accounts are worth looking at too.

We did some research and discovered how you can open a bank account without going through a credit-check, so that even if your credit score is poor, it doesn’t turn into a stressful experience. If you are looking for a business account, we have written a guide on opening a business account with bad or no credit.

Latest reviews of bank accounts with no credit check

Monzo - Monzo Free
Monzo Free
Finder score
4.6 ★★★★★
Go to site Read review

£0

Min. opening balance

£0

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

Monzo Instant Access Savings Pot earns you 4.10% AER interest (variable), paid monthly into the Pot you create.
You can open a bank account with Monzo without requiring a full credit check, making it a good option for those with bad credit. When you apply for an account, a soft credit check will be carried out which won't affect your credit score. A soft credit check will also be carried out if you want to apply for an overdraft to determine whether Monzo can offer you one. There are three different Monzo pricing structures to choose from, so you can pick the one that best suits you. To sign up for an account, you will need to download the app, provide your personal details and verify your identity by taking a video of yourself and a picture of your ID, but no proof of address will be required. The account allows users to set spending budgets by category, establish savings pots, divvy up their salary into spending, savings and bills, and benefit from fee-free transactions abroad.
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200, you'll be charged interest at 39% EAR variable . Account fee of £0.
  • Easy to set up
  • Good for budgeting and categorising spending
  • Automatic saving feature
  • Fee-free spending abroad
  • Slick app with face login
  • Overdrafts and loans available
  • Free ATM withdrawals outside the EEA limited to £200,
  • £1 fee for depositing cash at PayPoints,
  • Maximum cash deposit of £1,000 every 6 months
  • No rewards program
Interest rate 0% AER
Minimum opening balance £0
Switch service guarantee Yes
Account fee £0
Overseas cash withdrawals 0%
Card One Money - Current Account

£0

Min. opening balance

£12.50 per month

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

Earn cashback of up to 3.5% at more than 35 major high street retailers when using CardOneMoney card.
No credit check is carried out for the Card One Money account and you won't be charged a fee for any bounced payments, making it ideal if your credit score isn't up to scratch. You just need to have your identity and residency verified. All you need to do is fill in a short form and you could have your new sort code and account number in a matter of minutes. The account comes with a prepaid debit card which you can use instore or online free of charge. However, a fee applies to ATM cash withdrawals and the account also has a monthly fee. You can have your wages or benefits paid directly into the account and then set aside what's needed to cover your bills and other outgoings.
  • No credit check
  • Cashback rewards
  • UK-based call centre
  • Free next day payments
  • No fees for bounced payments
  • Manage your account 24/7 online or in-app
  • Monthly fee
  • Fees for ATM withdrawals in the UK & abroad
Interest rate 0% AER
Minimum opening balance £0
Minimum operating balance £0
Switch service guarantee Yes
Account fee £12.5 per month £5 per month
Overseas cash withdrawals 2.75%
Suits Me - Suits Me - Essential Current Account

£0.01

Min. opening balance

£0

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

£10 when your wages or benefits are paid in for the first time (T&C's apply).
You don't need to have a good credit score to open this account from Suits Me as there's no credit check involved when you apply. To be eligible you need to be at least 18 years old and have a UK address. You don't necessarily need a photo ID as Suits Me accepts lots of alternatives. This e-account has no monthly fee but transaction charges for things like electronic payments in or ATM withdrawals will apply. Your account comes with a free contactless prepaid debit card and you can manage your account via the app.
  • Accepts range of ID documents, ideal if you’ve recently moved to the UK
  • No monthly fee
  • Comes with a prepaid debit card
  • No credit check
  • One-off activation fee applies
  • Transaction charges also apply
Interest rate 0% AER
Minimum opening balance £0.01
Minimum operating balance £0
Switch service guarantee No
Account fee £0
Overseas cash withdrawals 2%
Monese - Monese
Monese
Finder score
3.8 ★★★★★
Read review

£0

Min. opening balance

£0

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

It's quick and easy to apply for a bank account with Monese via the app. No credit checks are required and all you'll need is an email address, phone number and ID document such as a passport. Your account can be up and running in a matter of minutes and you'll be sent a contactless Mastercard debit card that can be used online and instore all around the globe. There are no fees for spending or withdrawing cash on your card, provided you don't exceed your monthly limit. You can also choose from 3 different account plans, including a free option.
  • UK current account that does all you can expect, including direct debits and standing orders.
  • Fast and easy set-up (no credit check or proof of local address needed).
  • Colourful app that is easy to use, allows you to categorise your transactions and freeze the card if you lose it.
  • Free card payments and ATM withdrawals abroad.
  • You can load cash into the account for free.
  • Can open both a UK and European account and switch instantly.
  • With a free plan, fee-free ATM withdrawals and cash loads are limited to £200 per month.
  • You can’t put your savings in a separate account or earn interest on them.
  • It doesn’t offer anything more than a current account.
  • No physical branches.
Interest rate 0% AER
Minimum opening balance £0
Account fee £0
Revolut - Revolut Standard
Revolut Standard
Finder score
4.2 ★★★★★
Read review

£0

Min. opening balance

£0

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

Get a £20 welcome bonus when you spend your first £20 (T&Cs apply).
Revolut has four different pricing tiers for its e-money account so you can choose the one that suits you best. Applying for an account is straightforward - all you need to do is download the app and provide your phone number, email address, home address and date of birth. You'll then need to verify your identity through the app with a passport or ID card and once approved, you'll be up and running. There's no overdraft on the account, so you won't need to worry about applying for credit. Instead, if a purchase exceeds the amount in your account, it should be declined. Or if your balance falls below zero, you will be notified and given up to 7 business days to add money. The account allows users to set up recurring payments, withdraw cash at ATMs, make contactless payments, and transfer money in 30 currencies, fee-free.
  • Low overseas fees
  • Quick application
  • Earn cashback on spending
  • Set budgets for financial goals
  • Virtual cards for online purchases
  • Easy to transfer money internationally
  • Linked 'Junior' account available for one child
  • 1% currency conversion charge on weekend spending abroad
  • Free cash withdrawals in the UK and abroad both limited to £200 per month
  • Cannot deposit cash or cheques into the account
  • Charged a fee to receive your bank card
Interest rate 0% AER
Minimum opening balance £0
Account fee £0
Overseas cash withdrawals 0% Mon-Fri (max. £1,000 per month)
Starling Bank - Current Account - Age 18 and over
Current Account - Age 18 and over
Finder score
4.7 ★★★★★
Read review

£0

Min. opening balance

£0

Account fees

3.24% AER

Interest (AER)

Applying for a Starling bank account only requires a soft credit check, which means it won't affect your credit file and makes it a good option if you have a poor credit score. The bank offers a full current account that can be opened and managed directly via the app and there is no monthly fee. To open an account, you'll need to download the app, provide your name, date of birth, email address and home address, and verify your identity through the app using a selfie video and photo of your ID. Once approved, you can link the account to Apple Pay or your Google Wallet and start spending immediately. The account allows users to set savings goals, use an overdraft facility, track spending, and send and receive payments. There are no fees for spending abroad either.
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200, you'll be charged interest at 15% EAR variable .
  • No monthly-fees
  • No overseas fees
  • 100% digital sign-up
  • 24/7 UK customer support
  • 'Settle up' feature to split joint bills
  • Pays interest on current account balance
  • Overdrafts available (only on personal accounts)
  • No branch network
  • Limited options for depositors
  • No competitive switch incentives if you switch your account
  • Limited product range compared to other banks
  • Lower ATM withdrawal limit than some other digital challengers
  • No group savings feature
  • Doesn't have a specific monthly budgeting tool
Interest rate 0% AER
Minimum opening balance £0
Minimum operating balance £0.01
Switch service guarantee Yes
Account fee £0
Overseas cash withdrawals £0
thinkmoney - thinkmoney Current Account

£0.01

Min. opening balance

£10.95 per month

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

It’s easy to apply for this account via the ThinkMoney mobile app, provided you are over 18 years old and live in the UK for at least six months of the year. No credit checks will be carried out when you make your application and there’s no minimum monthly funding requirement. Once your application has been accepted, you’ll be sent a contactless debit card within three to five days. You can manage the account online or via the app, but also pay in cash and cheques at the Post Office. What’s more, when you pay money into your account, money for regular payments such as bills will be held separately to make sure you are able to pay them on time. This will help to improve your credit score and make you look more reliable to lenders. Note that the account has a £10 monthly fee (£15 for joint accounts).
  • No credit check involved
  • Easy to apply for
  • Ensures you pay bills on time, helping your credit score
  • No minimum funding requirement
  • Monthly fee
  • Limited account features
Interest rate 0% AER
Minimum opening balance £0.01
Minimum operating balance £0
Switch service guarantee Yes
Account fee £10.95 per month £15.95 per month
Overseas cash withdrawals 2%

Can I get a bank account without a credit check?

Yes, you can. There are UK banking providers who specialise in offering personal accounts that you can open without a credit check, such as Cashplus and thinkmoney. But be aware that this type of account often comes with a monthly charge and other fees attached.

Your other possibilities include digital-only accounts with the newer challenger banks, some of which are free to open and don’t involve credit checks unless an overdraft is applied for. Then there are basic bank accounts, free current accounts with less features that are operated by the more traditional banks. We look at both of these latter two options in more detail below.

How to open a current account if you have bad credit

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:

  • Challenger banks. Most digital-only banks allow you to open a full current account directly from their app. You’ll have to prove your identity, but they won’t check your credit score.
  • Basic accounts. Most traditional banks offer them, although they aren’t heavily advertised. They are full UK bank accounts, but they’re missing some features (namely, you guessed it, an overdraft).

They’re both suitable options, but depending on your banking style and preferences, you may be better off with one or the other.

Challenger banks

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.

  • Great mobile apps. No more having to power up your computer to access all the features of your current account. We list our favourite mobile apps here.
  • Budgeting features. Many of these apps automatically categorise your spending for you, telling you how much you’re spending and what for. Learn more about budgeting apps.
  • Saving features. You can set money aside in separate sub-accounts, set saving goals for them and have your banking app round up and set aside your spare change.

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. However, many of them allow you to carry out some tasks, like depositing cash, via automated machines in post office branches. Providers like Cashplus, Starling, thinkmoney offer this service. Log on to the Post Office website for a full list of banks that permit cash and cheque deposits via the post office network

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.

Basic current accounts

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. Compare basic bank accounts here.

How much does it cost?

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.

Dos and don’ts for banking if you have bad credit

Do

  • Get a no-credit-check current account. It’s a first step to get back on track.
  • Keep an eye on your spending. Whether you get instant notifications on your phone or simply check your statement regularly, it’s a good idea to know exactly how much you’re spending each month.
  • Draft a budget and stick to it. Digital banking apps’ budgeting features can help with that.
  • Check your credit score regularly. You can get it from the credit reference agencies. Once you know what’s wrong, you can work on fixing it.

Don’t

  • Use an overdraft. Even if you pass the credit checks, it’s an expensive way of borrowing money. Plus, paying it back won’t help your credit score.
  • Borrow more if you can avoid it. Especially if you still have to pay your creditors back.
  • Miss payments. It will further damage your credit score.

Opening a bank account with no credit and how it differs to bad credit

There’s a difference between having no credit and having bad credit. If you have bad credit, it’s usually because you haven’t managed credit well in the past – whether that’s through missing payments or failing to clear your debt on time.

However, if you have no credit, that usually means you’ve never borrowed before, so lenders have no way of knowing how likely you are to make repayments on time. You might have no credit history because you’re young or because you’ve recently moved to the UK and any credit history from your home country hasn’t come with you.

For this reason, lenders are likely to view you as higher risk and may be more reluctant to offer you an account – particularly if it has an overdraft.

Bottom line

If you have a poor credit history you’ll have less choice when it comes to opening a bank account. But don’t worry, there are still plenty of options available to you. Some of the traditional high street banks offer basic current accounts, which you’ll usually be able to access. These function like regular current accounts in many respects, but you won’t usually be able to benefit from an overdraft facility or any switching incentives.

Many digital-only challenger banks will also allow you to open a full current account directly from their app without a credit check.

So while things may be difficult while you try to rebuild your finances or start from scratch, you can rest assured that you’ll still be able to access basic banking services. You can also read our guide on how to improve your credit score.

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Written by

Valentina Cipriani

Valentina Cipriani was a writer at Finder UK. She wrote news, features and guides about banking and credit cards, helping people to improve their financial lives. She holds an MA in International Journalism. See full profile

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