Today it seems like you can’t do anything without the internet. More than ever, our digitalised, interconnected world excludes those of us who don’t have a basic bank account.
In many instances those without a bank account can find it difficult to get a job – employers and agencies typically want to pay your wages into a bank account – or are penalised for wanting to pay for goods and services in cash.
Most recent figures show that there are 1,540,000 unbanked adults in the UK according to a Social Finance study in 2011.
So if you have been turned down for a bank account with the traditional high street banks what are your alternatives? Can you find an alternative bank account with no credit check needed? Is there another way to open a current account which offers many of the same services – a place to receive your wages or save for a rainy day – gives you a VISA debit card, accepted across the globe?
Let’s look at some of the reasons why you may need a bank account, what problems you may have encountered and what your alternatives are.
Why do I need a basic bank account?
Most of us need access to a basic bank account for a few simple services. The core service we need is a current account, somewhere wages can be paid into and bills can be paid from. Many employers, agencies or companies will only pay wages into a bank account / current account. It will also keep your cash safe and will probably also offer facilities for saving money.
Having your money in one place means you can keep better track of your income and outgoings. You’ll see where you are spending your money, putting you in control. One advantage is that secure, basic bank accounts offer online banking where you can manage your money wherever you are.
It is becoming more difficult to live without a debit card which is essential for online shopping.
Why you might not be allowed an account?
Your credit history is often checked when you apply for an account and if there have been previous problems or if you have no credit history you may be declined. Finding an account provider which offers a bank account where no credit check is needed, can be the solution.
If you are on a low salary you may find it difficult to open a current account as many ask for a minimum monthly wage/ salary to be paid in. Nationwide’s minimum is £1000 per month although there are providers such as Marks & Spencer whose current account has no monthly minimum deposit.
If you have an existing current account with a large overdraft, this can affect your ability to transfer the account to another provider.
Missed repayments on loans or credit can adversely affect your credit score.
What are your alternatives to a basic bank account?
Credit Unions are like a building society in that they are run for the benefit of their members. Usually they will operate in a small geographic area, a specific town or city, and may also offer services only to people in particular industries. One thing to consider is that some will provide a cash card as opposed to a debit card. A cash card will only allow you to withdraw cash at an ATM, not pay for goods and services in shops or online.
A prepaid card works in much the same way as a basic bank account. You can have wages paid straight on to it. One advantage is that you can open a prepaid card without any credit checks being conducted. While they do give you the freedom to spend, you can incur charges both when you top up your account with cash and when you spend with them.
The Suits Me Card
Here we like to think we offer something a bit different. Once signed up as a member (you’ll need to sign up either online or through your recruitment agency to register with Suits Me) you will have access to great facilities such as direct deposit from your employer; access to wages you have accrued even before ‘pay day’; a VISA debit card, accepted at 24 million locations worldwide. You can manage your money on the go 24/7 with your secure online account portal and mobile banking app, make payments, bank transfers or check your balance and spending. You’ll even be entitled to cashback and reward offers on the high street.
Suits Me is a fantastic alternative to a basic bank account, great for those of us looking for a bank account which requires no credit checks.