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Bank Account Help

If you have previous or existing debt problems, then obtaining a bank account has been very difficult, if not impossible, in the past. Your credit record will often mean that you fail the traditional credit scoring test (based largely on information about your financial history supplied by a credit reference agency) and that your application is turned down. You therefore miss out on the important benefits that holding a current account can offer.

The Government set a deadline of October 2000 for the banks to make a "basic bank account" available to the public. This should mean that even if you have debt problems you'll be able to open a current account. The idea of the "basic bank account" is that it should provide the basic banking services to anyone, including those with problematic credit records.

There are some important benefits and advantages available to you by holding a bank account:

  • Provides a route to many other banking services
  • Helps you to build up a banking history
  • Enables you to make automated payments (e.g. pay your electricity bill by direct debit). This means you can take advantage of the discounts often offered if you pay by this method, so you save money
  • Budgeting is easier as you can spread payments out on a monthly basis if you can pay by direct debit
  • Cashing personal cheques can be difficult and expensive if you don't have a bank account
  • Fee free
  • Free automated transactions (e.g. direct debit/standing order)
  • Cash card for use at cash machines

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