How do I get a bank account?

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I have now gone through the repossession of my home and paid off the mortgages and half the remaining balance went to the Official Receiver to offset the bankruptcy. I suppose the repossession will be loggged somewhere but as the actual repossession followed a suspended repo order from 1996 will the 6 years start from 1996 or from the actual eviction date. I am now getting my act back together. I would like to have my own bank account but don't know how I can go about this. I guess with a bad credit history, a repossession and bankruptcy against my name nobody will want to know. In addition to a bank account I would like a credit card facility. I doubt that I will ever have another mortgage as I am at 53 probably too old and have no capital yet for a deposit. It would be nice though because the 475 per month rent we pay now would be better spent buying something. We have never defaulted on the rent. Any advice/help would be most appreciated.

-- Aileen Macdonald (STARG99@hotmail.com), January 10, 2002

Answers

Find out what is logged against your name by doing a search with Equifax and Experien. Basically, you send em a postal order for two quid per name, and they have to send you their file.

If that shows any judgments (which not all repo's are logged as) or your bankruptcy, forget a crdit card. You might get a basic bank account, but that is all. Lloyds TSB and Yorkshire Bank are a little more flexible to people with past problems.

-- David J. Button (davidjohnbutton@supanet.com), January 11, 2002.


This is general advice on credit scoring and getting yourself restablished as a good credit risk. I've based these statements on my many years working for finance companies. Its made in good faith and to the best of my knowlege so don't get mad if you think its wrong. Nor is any liability implied or accepted by me for these statements in any way.

If the information from the credit reference agency contains nothing adverse, and after six years it should not, then you need to establish yourself as a good little borrower before you can fully avail yourself for credit cards and special credit card offers, such as low introductory rates of interest and advantagous balance transfers.

It does not matter if the credit reference agencies now have nothing bad about you, not having had any recent credit accounts, or not having any credit accounts at present at all, is just as bad as being a defaulter. They want to see an account that has been used without any problems for a year or more.

So, if there is nothing adverse about held about you I'd suggest that you consider talking to Capital One. They offer a low credit limit Visa facility of 1,000 to just about anybody and everybody. Somebody told me they will also provide a credit card facility to adverse history borrowers with a cash deposit, which earns a pitiful rate of interest, equal to the Visa vard credit limit. But I'm not sure that this is actually Capital One. Be warned that the Capital One basic Visa facility has no special offers, charges a yearly fee, has a high interest rate, and has a range of charges for minor transgressions such as missing a monthly payment which would make a cyclops blink. Run the Capital One Visa card for a year and never miss a payment, never ever go over limit. Then you will have established yourself as good little borrower and will be welcomed by other credit card companies.

Get another, reasonable rate of interest, credit card facility based on your excellent 1 year credit history using your Capitol One Visa card. Consider paying off and closing the Capital One account then because they will never switch you to thir lower rate cards and the Capitol One basic card is expensive. You might also consider minor finance options such as catalogues and small interest free special offers, its suprising what a difference having an active 50 account with a catalogue, or two, which has never missed a monthly payment, can make to establishing you as a reliable borrower. Don't go mad applying for credit accounts. If you get turned down then don't apply again anywhere for three months since you are just damaging your credit standing.

Pay everything by direct debit to ensure that you never miss a payment. Credit cards will accept your posted cheque for payment but only credit the funds to your account upto ten days later. This is then shown on your credit file as a late payment each and every month because the payment date was after the due date. If you try to borrow for a mortgage this counts against you a lot.

Look out for these false late payments on your credit refrence statements. It will be shown as missed or late payments on the credit card account. The mortgage lenders really get worried about this and its stupid because it can just mean that you pay by post which takes ten days to clear. You can try protesting to the credit card company but they usually don't do anything about it.

Give it another six months and even the banks and building societies will consider a mortgage loan for you. You might have to go to an "Adverse" lender as an ex-bankrupt, and you could even consider this now but the interest rates charged will be quite high, but you can switch from the adverse lender and their higher interest rate after a year or two. Again, you need to establish yourself as a good little mortgage borrower, so never miss a payment, never go over limit on any of your credit cards, finance agreements or mortgage.

The banks all play "weighted retreval" with their credit scoring techniques. By having minor credit accounts such as a low value credit card, and one or more small catalogue accounts, which have all been paid on time and maintained without any problems for a year or so, you can ensure that you get a good score when applying for credit facilities.

Keep the total number of credit applications to a minimum. No more than four in any six month period.

It comes down to playing the game and knowling the rules.

Good Luck.

-- anon (i.hate.abbey.national@another.com), January 12, 2002.


Sorry about this, but even Capital One is not the answer. They've just turned me down for no reason that I can see. But a word of warning, I have just got a copy of my credit file from Equifax and Capital One are down as doing two searches three weeks apart, this looks like two applications, whereas it was only one. Searches are also listed from companies that I have never applied to. It pays to be very, very careful how many applications you make as everything is listed! My advice is to keep a very low profile indeed until at least the six years have passed! It's the only way to get a clean record. Don't worry about being too old, there are companies that specialise in mortgages for "older" people.

-- Anne Veasey (anneveasey@surfanytime.co.uk), January 18, 2002.

Said it before and I'll say it agin.

Nobody is allowed to issue credit checks against you without your prior authority.

If you have suffered a financial loss and stress because of this then you are entitled to compensation under the Data Protection Act. If, you can get the Information Commissioner to confirm that your rights have been violated in a final assessment reprort.

Send a copy of the credit checks to the IC with a letter asking for an assessment request. If you get a final assessment letter confirming that your rights have been violated then contact a solicitor experianced in the DPA with a view to getting compensation.

The DPA is simply wonderful. It is the only UK law which states that you are entitled to compensation if your rights have been violated and the IC confirm this in a final assessment report. Trouble is, nobody has proved it so far. But this will change this year.

Good Luck.

-- anon (i.hate.abbey.national@another.com), January 18, 2002.


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