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Banking and borrowing

Banking options for people in debt

When you're in debt, it's important to know what banking options are available to make sure your money is safe and you can prioritise your household bills over your unsecured debts.

if you've got debts with the same bank that your current account is with, we'll nearly always recommend opening a new basic bank account somewhere that you don't have any debts. 

This is because banks can use the 'right of set off' to take money from your bank account to pay your debts  if you've fallen behind with your payments. This includes your overdraft, credit card or loan payments if they're with the same bank.

If you're struggling to make payments to your debts you need to make sure that you prioritise your household bills and living costs, and make your income is available to you without the bank taking it first. By opening a basic bank account somewhere else you'll be able to be more in control of where your income goes, and how you budget your money.

Credit unions are also a becoming a more popular alternative to high street banks, as they offer accounts to people on low incomes or who've got a poor credit file. This means they can be a better alternative if you're already struggling with your finances.

Need help with debts to your bank?

Try Debt Remedy

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Dealing with bank account problems

If you have debt with your bank or you've had money taken from your account to cover a debt, we can help.

Our online advice tool Debt Remedy can help you put together a personal action plan in around 20 minutes. If you'd prefer to speak to someone, call our Helpline and speak to one of our expert advisors.

Helping you become debt free...

“I wish to thank your staff for all the great help they gave me when I was in so much debt.
They were a pillar of support to me.” (Leslie, Essex)

Foundation for Credit Counselling Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG trading as StepChange Debt Charity and StepChange Debt Charity Scotland. A registered charity no.1016630 and SC046263. It is a limited company registered in England and Wales (company no:2757055). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

*This is the average rating of our service based on the StepChange reviews on Feefo by DMP and DRO clients three months into their solution.

© StepChange Debt Charity 2017