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Opening a current account with poor credit – what are my options?

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

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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