Opening a bank account can be a simple thing to do and can help you manage your money. With a bank account you can set up direct debts and standing orders, make payments online and use a debit card to shop. It can be a secure and simple way to manage your money. Universal Credit will require claimants to open a bank account and you will need one to apply for it. Looking at opening one now, before the changes impact more people who claim benefits, could save time and make things easier in the long run.
When you chose a bank account, a number of things must be considered. You might want a local branch where you can go in and speak to the staff or you might be attracted by a promotional offer. You can chose different types of accounts, which offer overdrafts or other linked insurance products. Some bank accounts charge, and if this is the case you need to look into what the charge will give you and if it is worth it.
Basic bank accounts are a good idea if you want a simple account that allows you to use a debit card and make payments but won’t allow you to go overdrawn. The Money Advice Service service has a lot of information on what you can do to find the best one for you. New Direction advisers can help you through this process and can even make appointments and go with you when you open the account.
A bank account appears on your credit file, so having an account that runs well will improve your credit score and give you more access to affordable credit in the future. It is important to remember that bank accounts can have high charges for overdrafts and returned items and that this can build up. If you feel you are going to go overdrawn or you are getting high charges on your account, if is good to access advice straight away so you can take steps to stop this as soon as possible.