Bank accounts have come under a lot of scrutiny in recent months with an increasing move towards fee-based services, making it even harder for individuals with a less than perfect credit rating to find a bank willing to offer an account.

However, no matter how difficult it may seem to get accepted if you've had financial problems, if you know where to look and what's on offer, you will find there is plenty of choice for current accounts for bad credit.

We take a look at the best offers currently on the market for individuals who are looking for bad credit bank accounts.

Do not apply for lots of current accounts

Every time you apply for credit of some kind, an imprint is left on your credit file and apply for lots of accounts in a short space of time can have a detrimental effect on your credit history, making it harder still to be accepted.

If you know your credit rating is sufficiently low to exclude you from mainstream bank accounts, don't be tempted to chance your arm and apply as it could make things worse. The same rules apply for other credit products such as loans or overdrafts.

There are accounts on the market specifically designed for individuals with a poor credit rating; apply for one of these instead and consider switching when your rating has had time to improve.
This way you will still get a current account but may be able to begin to improve your credit rating, which could eventually lead to you being able to apply for one of the more attractive accounts on the market.

Compare basic accounts

Many banks offer a basic account option, but you may not find them widely publicised.

This is because they often cost money to run so aren't something which banks are keen to promote. Basic bank accounts without credit search aren't usually promoted, or sometimes even made known unless you are specifically looking for them.

Nevertheless, you could still be able to have an account with one of the main high street providers if they have a basic account option.

Check through their product menu if you aren't sure what is available. It is often possible to open bank account without a credit check, even if this isn't one of their main services advertised.

What is a basic account?

The main thing to understand is that no credit facilities will be made available at any time so this means no overdraft and no credit cards. You may be allocated a debit card but many providers only dish out an ATM card.

It is common for there to be no credit checks for most basic bank accounts as they accept all applicants with only fraud and undischarged bankruptcy affecting the application.

All kinds of past financial problems are usually accepted, including discharged bankruptcies and CCJs. Although getting an account after bankruptcy is possible, undischarged bankrupts may find there are less accounts available.

You may also be able to open a business bank account after bankruptcy, although you will need permission from the court to act as company director.

Bank accounts for people with bad credit can be found on the high street but in many cases, the best deals and service from banks comes from online providers who have a much more positive attitude.

Should you pay for a current account?

You may find that some providers offer bank accounts in return for a monthly fee. If your finances aren't in great shape you might instantly reject this as being a bad idea.

However, before you dismiss it completely, it's worth considering the matter further as you may not be left with many options if you aren't willing to put a little in to get your credit rating back on track.

With some types of account, you would not pay any fees for rejected or returned direct debits and standing orders. If you know that you struggle managing your finances this could mean that by paying a one-off monthly fee instead of charges every time you hit a problem with your cash flow.

A bank account for people with bad credit is often structured in a different way to a mainstream provider, but by opting for this you could end up paying far less in charges and interest. Some of the biggest high street banks charge the customer every time a transaction is made which causes them to go overdrawn, even if it is specifically a bank account for poor credit rating.

There is often no qualifying credit scores for these accounts as they are designed for this exact purpose. If checks are taken it is likely to be simple facts such as residency status and anti fraud.

These type of current accounts for poor credit can not only help to rebuild your rating, but can also provide you with access to credit card services, via a prepaid account. This provides you with the convenience of using a credit card, but without the risk of spending money you can't afford.

Compare basic current accounts

It can feel a little bit embarrassing having to resort to a bank account bad credit option but before you try to struggle through, it's important to realise that there are many other people in exactly the same position.

It is also not impossible for you to get your credit rating back up which will help you to get an account that may seem more attractive.

However in the meantime there are still many options available when looking for a basic bank account for bad credit which will help you to find a provider that will suit you best.

About our bank accounts comparison


Who do we include in this comparison?


We include every basic bank account available in the UK and prepaid bank accounts from our panel of UK prepaid card companies. They are all regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Here is more information about how our website works.


How do we make money from our comparison?


We have commercial agreements with some of the companies in this comparison and get paid commission if we help you take out one of their products or services. Find out more here.

You do not pay any extra and the deal you get is not affected.