Applying for a new current account

Posted by Rebecca Stains in Banking on 19 August 2015 - Rebecca worked as a Credit Analyst at checkmyfile until 2015

It can be daunting choosing a new current account, especially with so many products available. It is easy to forget that a current account something most people use every single day, therefore it is important to choose one that best suits you and your needs.

Opening a new account is a process that requires time and research. Here are some simple steps to follow to ensure you get the best deal that is right for you.

The first steps taken should always involve researching the current accounts that are available to you. Asking family and friends about their current providers is a good place to start, alternatively online reviews and surveys can offer you with an insight into people’s personal experiences – both positive and negative. When researching the accounts you are considering, its best to avoid making your decision based on introductory offers or promotions, in the long run you may find the overall service to be terrible.

How you manage your current account may also affect your decision. You may wish to research the online banking features offered, or the local branches close to you, depending on your preferred approach to communication and the method of maintaining your account.

Secondly, you should consider what type of account you are going to pick. Standard current accounts usually offer a debit card, overdraft and cheque book, but this is always worth double checking before making the application. The majority of current accounts are free but there are a few that incur and monthly or annual fee. These types of accounts tend to offer more services such as better interest rates and insurance perks. So how should you decide which is best for you? It’s advisable to look closely at your own spending habits to determine the suitable option.

When deciding to switch to a new current account, you should ask yourself the question: Am I happy with my current bank? Most of the better deals are unfortunately offered to new customers, so if you are happy with your existing bank you may wish to stay put. This should avoid disappointment further down the line when the introductory deals have ended. It may not be worth the £100 reward for joining or the temporarily low interest rates.

When making a credit application, this includes current account applications so you will be subject to a credit check. This is to ensure you meet their lending criteria before being accepted. With this in mind you may want to check your credit report before submitting your application and if you have bad credit, you are more likely to be accepted for basic bank account rather than those offering great deals.

The final decision you need to make involves your old account and whether or not it’s best to close this down. If you have chosen to switch your account this is not something to worry about, the switching process now only takes 7 days, and your old account will then be closed. If you decide to keep your old account, for example if you need more than one current account or it is a joint agreement, it is important to ensure your direct debits are coming out of the right account to avoid any missed payments. You can always speak to the new provider about transferring any regular payments.

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