Do You Need Good Credit To Open A Checking Account?

Do You Need Good Credit To Open A Checking Account?
Do You Need Good Credit To Open A Checking Account?

A checking account is considered to be the foundation of a healthy financial life. If your finances were a tool bag, then the checking account is a screwdriver as it is functional, versatile, and constantly in use. 

Almost anyone who has to build a stable financial profile, started by depositing their money into a checking account. Setting up a checking account is easier than you might think.

Do you need good credit to open a checking account

All you really need to open up a checking account is proof of identification, proving you are over 18, with a current government issued photo ID such as a driver’s license, passport, state or military ID.

You will also need proof of your current address such as a lease, or mortgage statement or utility bill, as well as cash for an initial deposit. 

It is really simple, but we know that you are curious to know if credit scores will influence your ability to open up a checking account. Let’s have a look.

What is a checking account?

If you do not know already, a checking account is a deposit account which is held at a financial institution that allows both withdrawals and deposits. It can also be called a demand account or a transactional account.

Checking accounts are considered to be liquid and can be accessed using checks, automated teller machines, and electronic debits, among other things.

A checking account differs greatly from other types of bank accounts in that it often allows for numerous withdrawals and unlimited deposits, whereas savings accounts will often limit both. 

These accounts are a deposit account with a bank, they allow you to have numerous deposits and withdrawals unlike investment accounts or savings accounts. You can deposit money in these at banks, via ATMs, through direct deposit or electronic transfer.

You could withdraw funds through banks, ATMs, writing checks, or using electronic debits or credit cards paired with the account.

With these accounts it is important to keep track of your fees, which are assessed for overdrafts, writing too many checks, and allowing for the account balance to drop below the required minimum at some banks. 

What we want to know now is can you get one of these accounts regardless of your credit score? But, how can you understand your credit score, and how does this work?

Understanding credit score.

For a score between 300 and 850, a score of 700 plus is good, 800 plus is excellent.

A majority of consumers that have credit scores fall between 600 and 750, however in the US the average reached 710 in 2020, which was an increase of 7 points from the previous year.

Higher scores make creditors feel more confident that you will repay future debts as agreed, however many creditors will also set their own definitions of what they consider to be good or bad scores when they evaluate consumers for loans or credit cards. 

It really depends on the type of borrowers creditors wish to attract. They may also consider how current events will impact consumers credit scores, and therefore adjust their requirements accordingly.

A few things affect your credit score, payment history, credit uses, the length of your credit history, types of accounts that you have, and recent activity.

This means making on time payments on credit accounts helps your scores, how many of your accounts have balances and how much you owe, the age of your credit accounts, if you have installment accounts and revolving accounts, and the application for any new accounts will all influence your credit score.

Can you open a checking account with a bad credit score?

If you have had issues with debt in the past, it can be hard to get hold of certain financials,   including current and checking accounts.

However, you can open accounts with a poor credit history, although the number of options that are open to you will depend on what has happened. 

You may be eligible for certain accounts even if your poor credit history includes incidents such as bankrupts of County Court Judgements, however, the choice is down to individual account providers. 

Banks do not always typically look at your credit score when you open a checking account, or a savings account, however they will typically screen your banking history.

Potential account holders may be screened through a reporting agency, which will pull your checking and savings account history similar to how your history is pulled for a credit report. The requirements are not as tough as with a new credit card application, though. 

You should keep track of your credit as it won’t necessarily affect your approval odds for a new bank account, but it does help to provide an overall snapshot of your financial health 

If you have severe credit problems the best bet is to open a basic bank account, they are similar to current accounts and the only real difference between a current account and checking account is that a checking account is typical for the use of checks.

However, if your credit problems are awful, you may find there to be certain restrictions and limitations. You will have no overdraft facilities, and there is unlikely to be in -credit interest, some products may also deny you access to debit cards and checkbooks. 

You will be able to carry out basic banking functions such as setting up standing orders and direct debits, but you need to ensure that you have the funds to meet these outgoings. If you do not, you will likely be hit by fees and risk falling deeper into even more financial difficulty. 

Not all current account providers will offer basic bank accounts, so not very many will promote them, and some may actively put hurdles in the way of customers finding them.

The best bet is to talk directly to the bank and ask what account type is best for you, if your credit and banking history is bad they may recommend this option. 

Overall, it is not impossible to get a checking account if your credit score is not good, however, it really depends on your individual situation.

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