Bank accounts

Having a bank account should help you take control of your money and will keep it safe and secure at the same time. You can have your wages, benefits and other income paid into your account without worrying about keeping cash in your home. 

Depending on the type of account you have, you may be able to set up bill payments and direct debits to make sure your bills are paid on time, especially essential bills such as rent and council tax.

Browse some of the drop down information below to learn more.

  • Finding the right account

    There are so many types of accounts out there it’s important that you do some research to find the right one for you. Some accounts have a monthly charge and other are free, some may also offer free travel insurance and other extras which you may not need.  There are also other alternatives such as credit union accounts and post office accounts.   

    For the latest information on opening a new bank account you can use the Money Advice Service who’ve got plenty of information on budgeting and managing your money.

  • Types of accounts

     

    Account type

     Features

     Packaged Account

     Same as current account

    • Monthly fee of £10-£15
    • May include car breakdown cover, mobile phone and travel insurance

     Think about whether you really need these benefits.  

     Current Account

     

     Features:

    •   Direct debits and standing orders
    •   Debit cards
    •   Withdraw money from cash machines
    •   Access to overdraft (subject to approval)
    •   Monthly fee

     Basic Account

     

     Features:

    • Direct debits and standing orders
    • Cash card

     You won’t have an overdraft facility.

     Credit Union Budget  Account (Jam Jar Account)

     Features:

    • Account divided into sub accounts to help with budgeting
    • Direct debits and standing orders
    • Some landlords will pay the monthly fee for this type of account if you agree to   have your rent paid direct from your account – speak to the Money Advice Team  on 0345 60 20 540 to find out more.

     

    For the latest information about the type of accounts on the market you can visit the Money Advice Service.

  • Opening your account

    Once you have chosen the type of account you want, you will need to complete an application form and will be asked to provide proof of your identity (this could be a passport or driving licence) and proof of address (rent book or council tax bill). If you can’t provide these documents you can see if your account provider will accept another document.

    Remember, before you sign up for the account, make sure you understand everything about it such as any fees or charges that you might need to pay. If you have difficulty opening a bank account you may be able to open a credit union account instead.