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Fee-free bank accounts

21 October 2019

#ValleysMag | Money Advice |

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Under Universal Credit everything will be paid to you which means you will become responsible for paying your landlord. Paying your rent is simple and easy to do but we advise the first thing you do, before anything else, is to set up a bank account – if you haven’t got one already.
There are lots to choose from so you will need to do a bit of research around the one that best suits you and your individual needs. We believe fee-free basic bank accounts are a great option and here are our reasons why:

What is a fee-free bank account?

A fee-free bank account will allow you to receive money and pay your bills without the worry of going into an overdraft. As overdrafts allow you to withdraw cash, even when there isn’t any money in your account, we would suggest not having one to make sure you always know what you have to spend. With a fee-free bank account, you can:

  • Have your wages, benefits and other income paid in
  • Pay in money and cheques
  • Withdraw money from a cash machine
  • Set up direct debits and standing orders
  • Check your bank balance online, at a cash machine, over the counter or on your phone
  • Use a debit card to pay for things online or in shops
Can I open a fee-free bank account?

To open an account you need to be at least 16 but it is worth double checking this because some banks have a minimum age of 18.
You don’t need to pass a credit check to open a fee-free account, in fact if you have had money problems in the past (including bankruptcy) an account like this can help to improve your credit score.

How do I open a fee-free account?

The only thing you’ll need to do is provide proof of your identity and address before being allowed to open an account. But what can you do if you don’t have a passport, driving licence or proof of address? There are other things you can try like:
I don’t have a passport or driving licence How about using your DWP letters, benefits and state pension letters, HMRC letters, JobCentre Plus letter or a letter from your council?
I don’t have a proof of address You could use a GP letter, letter from your social landlord, letter from a minister of religion or a letter from sheltered accommodation.

If you have any questions about fee-free bank accounts or would like to get some advice on money matters, please contact us today and ask to speak to our Money Advice team.