Bank account help - any ideas?!

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Budgeting & Bank Accounts
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usernameusername Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Budgeting & Bank Accounts
Hello all - I've not posted on the boards for ages but I am in need of some advice - I thought you lot would be most suitable. ;)

I'm 19 and currently have only a savings account to my name, which I have held since I was around 7. It's now another savings account which I at present use as my bank account for everything, and currently has a card for use at cash machines, and a chequebook but the card isn't a debit card. I'm planning on going to university this year, which'll probably mean that I'll be getting a student account, but that won't happen until mid to late part of next year.

My problem at the moment is that I am wanting to buy things on-line but the major snag is that a lot of these places only accept cards. My mother is a complete technophobe and won't lend me her card even if I pay back her the amounts and let her watch me type it in, and I have said to her that it's safer than handing your card over to the waiter at a restaurant - OK, it's rare that she does that either since she's a cash only person a lot of the time.

I am looking to upgrade my account to something which does have a debit card, but I don't know where to go. I don't wish to wait 9 months or so until I can get a student account, so ...

There's the U19s accounts, but the thing is I am over 18! Too old!

There's the current accounts but I am told that you need to have at least X amount coming in per month or something. I am going to be starting a part time job soon but I don't think it'd be OK for their criteria? Do they credit score you when you apply for a current account (I am not interested in borrowing so a £1k overdraft need not apply)?

Then there's the basic accounts, many of which don't offer debit card facilities which is what I am after only offer a cash card.

We also keep on getting tons of credit card offers from Capital One with rather high interest rates. I'm thinking of (if the current account etc stuff is not possible) of getting one of these purely for shopping on the internet, and to simply pay the balance off, in full at the end of each month or whenver I use it. I'm not the type to go nuts on cards by the way - I am alone dreading the student loan thing that'll be round my neck for long to come. What are my chances at getting one of these?

I am also told that Visa Electron/Solo cards are not much use for shopping over the internet. Is this true?

Help me (banks don't make it easy - do they?!). :eek:
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Replies

  • lonerangerloneranger Forumite
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    Try a prepaid credit card.
    Some internet sites like Amazon,ebay etc will accept visa electron and solo cards now.Go to Natwest and talk to them.
    Mutual Supporters club member (Nov 2006)

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  • grumblergrumbler Forumite
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    • Just apply for a current accuunt to the bank you have your savings account with. It is not an upgrade, just application for another account.
    • You are not too old for any U19 accounts. Many of them come with Visa Electron or Solo debit cards. It is not true that they 'are not much use for shopping over the internet', although some places don't accept them indeed.
    • IMHO it is too early for you to apply for any credit cards. BTW, interest rate doesn't matter if you use CCs only for purchases and pay balance in full and on time every month.
    P.S. Most current accounts don't require any min monthly credits. Prepaid cards are quite expensive to use.
    We are born naked, wet and hungry...Then things get worse. :(

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  • sgx.saintsgx.saint Forumite
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    Natwest - Step Account and Yorkshire Bank - ReadyCash account are both basic bank accounts and offer a debit card with the account.

    I can recommend them both :)
  • usernameusername Forumite
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    I'll look into Natwest as they're the nearest bank to me. Yorkshire Bank don't seem to have any branches near to me at all (I'm in Surrey). Do you know kind of card they offer with the Natwest one?

    I will see if I can run the current account idea by them the next time I am in the bank. Will they require all the usual ID check guff to set it up - or will they sort of know me as I am a customer of theirs and give a sly wink and nod and send me on my way?

    The ID check guff could be a problem though, since I don't have any "formal" ID - i.e. a driver's license or a passport and not a full birth certificate (my father has the full one but my parents are separated so that's another problem).

    I've heard about the prepaid credit cards, but they seem to have fees for everything and anything. I guess they have to make their money somewhere.

    Cheers for the advice etc - keep it coming.

    My savings account is with Lloyds TSB, by the way.

    Re. the solo/electron restrictions, is there a definitive list of which sites do and don't accept them? And for those that don't - why is that?
  • MikeyorksMikeyorks Forumite
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    Post #3 is your most sensible route for the current account.

    IMHO - stay away from pre-paid CCs. If you're a young lady of discipline (no -not that sort;) ) and do intend to pay it off every month - consider a cashback Credit Card such as the Conran Card (links to the left). And route via Quidco, or similar, wherever possible for your online purchases. Doesn't give you a fortune back down either route - but it's better than nothing.

    EDIT

    Sorry missed the ID question. Yes you stand a much better chance of just an electronic check (You're on the electoral register?) at your home Bank. But I've just opened a fixed rate account outside my home Bank with no formal ID at all - just the electronic check. And, of course a personal cheque to open it - which won't apply for your current account
    If you want to test the depth of the water .........don't use both feet !
  • sgx.saintsgx.saint Forumite
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    I'll look into Natwest as they're the nearest bank to me. Yorkshire Bank don't seem to have any branches near to me at all (I'm in Surrey). Do you know kind of card they offer with the Natwest one?

    The Natwest Step Account offers a Solo Card, the Yorkshire Bank one offers a Switch/Maestro, which of course is a fully fledged debit card. If there is a Clydesdale Bank near you, they offer the same account as it is a sister bank to Yorkshire.

    Although, if you can get a normal current account, then I recommend following that route. Mind you, in saying that, aslong as you can manage your money effectively then there is absolutely nothing wrong with a basic account. Except of course most dont pay any interest.
  • bengal-stripebengal-stripe Forumite
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    username wrote:
    The ID check guff could be a problem though, since I don't have any "formal" ID - i.e. a driver's license or a passport
    Since 9/11 and the anti money-laundering legislation the whole ball game has changed. You do need proper identification to open an account of any sort (that includes pre-paid cards).

    Even your existing bank will probably ask for correct identification, never mind the fact, that you have had a savings account with them since you were a child.

    Get yourself organized and get a passport, don’t you ever want to board a plane? Even for domestic flights, you’ll need a proper form of identification (with photograph).

    Just think, someone nice invites you for a romantic weekend in Paris, and you can’t go.:mad: :mad: :mad:
  • usernameusername Forumite
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    Since 9/11 and the anti money-laundering legislation the whole ball game has changed. You do need proper identification to open an account of any sort (that includes pre-paid cards).

    Even your existing bank will probably ask for correct identification, never mind the fact, that you have had a savings account with them since you were a child.

    Get yourself organized and get a passport, don’t you ever want to board a plane? Even for domestic flights, you’ll need a proper form of identification (with photograph).

    Just think, someone nice invites you for a romantic weekend in Paris, and you can’t go.:mad: :mad: :mad:
    The nice weekend in Paris is a good point. Hehe. ;):p

    I know I've just realised that it's a a whole different ballgame. The whole getting even a temporary job thing was difficult - they needed a whole raft of ID. Ironically I am in the process of getting a passport - but since I don't have the full birth certificate I can't submit my application and my mother has arsed around for 2 months arguing with my father to try and collect this damn thing, even though I said when we were up in London (at the passport fofice) to go and go and try and get a duplicate.

    My mother was obstinate as per usual as so we didn't go. 2 months later I still don't have either ... this is the last time I will EVER listen to her when it comes to my things, I will do things MY way. I think this has just made me realise how awkward it is to get things done when so many parties are being a pain the butt and dragging it along. :mad:

    I think it's quite sad that I've never been abroad in all my 19 years (and therefore have had no need for the passport). :o
  • MikeyorksMikeyorks Forumite
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    You do need proper identification to open an account of any sort (that includes pre-paid cards).

    Even your existing bank will probably ask for correct identification, never mind the fact, that you have had a savings account with them since you were a child.

    That's far too broad brush. I can, and do, open new accounts online with my existing Bank and no ID is requested / needed. They open and add to my Portfolio overnight.

    And, as post #6, I've just opened an account with a Bank I've never had dealings with before, simply via a phone call / electronic check. But you're much more likely to get an ID free account with your current provider.
    The whole getting even a temporary job thing was difficult - they needed a whole raft of ID

    Different ballgame. They're checking you're not going to be a liability when you start with them;)
    If you want to test the depth of the water .........don't use both feet !
  • usernameusername Forumite
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    Thought I might update you all on this. I asked my bank (Lloyds TSB) to open an account and after having a chit-chat with them, they have said that they will accept a letter from my college confirming who I am (since I do not at present have any of the other forms of ID).

    Hopefully, this small step will send me shortly on my way to getting a current account.
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