Compare bad credit bank accounts

A bank account is essential for receiving a salary, paying direct debits and many other things, but for people with bad credit or those that have been bankrupt, it can be difficult to open one.

If you're one of the many people who cannot open an account, there is an alternative bank account that may be right for you; bad credit bank accounts provide services such as receiving your salary, direct debit payments, a payment card and many of the other services you would expect from a current account.

Where to get one

Below compare the providers, see website for full details.

Secure Trust Bank is a publicly traded bank that was established in 1954, it offers current accounts, savings accounts and loans to UK customers. Bad credit applicants are accepted provided you meet their requirements such as being registered on the Electoral roll. The account is not free but it does come with a prepaid MasterCard for day to day usage e.g. purchases and cash withdrawal.

  • Salary can be paid in
  • Set up Direct debits and Standing orders
  • Transfer money in and out
  • Online account management
  • Account set up fee: £12.50
  • Monthly Management: £12.50
  • Cash Machine withdrawal: £0.50
  • Cash Withdrawal abroad: £2.25 per transaction
  • UK Purchases: Free
  • Purchases made abroad: 2.75% per transaction

Established in 2007, CardOne Banking bills itself as the alternative to high street banks, it proudly emphasizes its no-credit check policy to opening new current accounts and you can open an account as an individual or for your business. You get a prepaid card to use for day to day use.

  • No credit check
  • Salary can be paid in
  • Set up Direct debits and Standing orders
  • Transfer money in and out
  • Online account management
  • Account set up fee: £0
  • Monthly Management: £12.50
  • UK cash withdrawals: £1.5
  • Cash Withdrawal abroad: £3 + 2.75% per withdrawal

The CashPlus current account is a product of Advanced Payment Solutions Ltd which was established in 2004. APS also offers the CashPlus prepaid debit card, a credit building service and other products for people with bad credit.

  • No credit check
  • Overdraft of up to £250
  • 2 free ATM withdrawals a month
  • Salary can be paid in
  • Direct debits and Standing orders
  • Monthly management fee: £4.95 - £9.95
  • ATM Cash withdrawal UK: Free - £2
  • Cash Withdrawal abroad: £3
  • UK Purchases: Free - £0.99 per transaction
  • Foreign purchases: 2.99% per transaction
Charges vary depending on the type of account (ActivePlus, FlexiPlus or Deluxe).


  • 1. Access to banking services

    piggy bank It can be frustrating not having an account when so many of today's financial activities depend on having an account, but this happens to people who have been bankrupt or have very bad credit that they cannot even qualify for a basic bank account. It can also happen if you're a new immigrant to the UK.

    With a bad credit bank account applicants are accepted even if they've been affected by the above, allowing you access to the banking services that you need.

    Additionally you get a prepaid card that you can use to pay for goods withdraw cash from an ATM; it works just like debit or credit cards therefore it will be accepted wherever cards are accepted.

  • 2. Easier requirements

    Unlike a normal bank account where acceptance depends on a credit check and other requirements, a bad credit bank account has much simpler requirements, in most cases just need to be over the age of 18 and provide proof of address, there is no credit check carried out when you apply, this makes them ideal bank accounts for a bankrupt person or other instances of very bad credit.


  • 1. Cost

    The downside to these accounts is that you pay for the services on a monthly basis whereas most UK banking customers are used to free current account. The £12.50 a month might be value for money if you’re using the account to receive your salary and to pay bills.

  • 2. No high street branches

    There are no branches where you can go and use facilities; the account is managed online with telephone support offered. You can use other banks' cash machines for cash withdrawals and in some cases other banks' branches for cash and cheque depositing, but you often have to pay for those services too.


  • 1. Basic bank account

    This is a type of bank account that allows you to pay bills, deposit and withdraw money, but lacks some of the facilities you normally get on a current account. Basic bank accounts are offered by most banks, although not all applicants will be accepted.

    The advantage here is that most of these accounts are free to use. The disadvantage is that normally they only come with a cash card, which can only be used to withdraw money from a cash machine; you will not be able to use it to pay for goods.
    This is an example of a basic bank account: Santander

  • 2. Prepaid cards

    If all you need is just a card you can use to pay for goods, then a prepaid card is a good alternative; it is the same type of card that you get with a bad credit current account but getting just the card means you won't have to pay the monthly account management fee. Learn more about prepaid cards.

  • 3. Credit cards

    Another alternative, if you just need a card to use for spending, is a credit card for bad credit; these have the advantage that there are no usage fees or account fees. However, a credit check will be carried out when you apply and getting approved is not as easy.


Bad credit bank accounts are ideal if you really need a bank account and cannot qualify for one with a high street bank, however they should only serve as a temporary solution while you improve your credit rating as they charge you a fee for a service you could get for free.