Our guide to applying for a current account

Our guide to applying for a current account
Written by Mark Grimley
Published on 5th July 2017
Updated on 4th September 2019
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Getting the right account

Your current account is used to manage your money on a daily basis, so having the right account is a pretty big deal. This guide to applying for a current account outlines everything you need to know in order to ensure you Choose Wisely and look after your money in the most effective way possible.

Compare your options

With a large number of current accounts available, it might feel a little overwhelming when your first start your search. The Choose Wisely current account comparison table is a good place to start. Here you can compare each current account and its features side by side. Need more information on a provider? Visit our bank account product library.

What to consider

When comparing current accounts, it's worth looking out for any rewards or bonus packages that are on offer. Each current account will also have differing fees, overdraft facilities, and product features. It goes without saying to make sure you choose a current account that suits your requirements and needs. It's also vital that before you apply you ensure you match the provider's acceptance criteria, if not you risk getting declined.

Applying for a current account

By law, the bank has to do certain checks. This will mean you have to provide ID and proof of address. The required ID will normally be a passport or driving license. For proof of address, a utility bill will normally suffice but will often be required to be dated within the last three months. Most current account applications can be made online or in a branch. If you apply online you might need to send copies of your ID and address or allow the bank to check with the appropriate authorities. You will be informed of any extra information that's required throughout the application process. As mentioned above, each current account will have a strict set of acceptance criteria . Before applying for a current account make sure you match these criteria. If you're concerned that poor credit history might be a problem, check your credit report in advance to gain an idea of where you stand. This can be done for free on a number of sites, such as Clearscore.

Switching your current account

Go back only a few years and switching your current account often proved an administrative nightmare. This no longer has to be the case. Many bank accounts are now offering the current account switch guarantee. This is where the bank guarantees that all of your existing payments are successfully switched to your new current account without you moving a muscle. In some cases, banks will even offer you an incentive for switching accounts.

Mark Grimley
Written by
Mark Grimley
Head of Partnerships & Take Control Author at Choose Wisely

Mark joined Choose Wisely in 2015. He continues to work in close contact with the providers, brokers and journalists operating in the world of consumer credit.