We return to the issue of banking in Quids in! on a regular basis. Access to finance services have become as important to modern life as heat, light and power (and the internet).
Not having it, costs money. The fact banks sometimes say ‘No’ without good reason has been described as a ‘civil rights issue’ by money saving expert, Martin Lewis.
With the government’s shake up of working age benefits, the issue is even more important to millions on lower incomes. Without the right account claimants will be unable to receive payments, cover regular outgoings like rent and bills, or properly ensure they stay in the black.
Our 2016 Reader Survey told us that a significant amount of Quids in! readers (2 in every 5) don’t use a bank account. One in 20 said they had been turned down for an account, for example because of a lack of suitable ID.
The government promised Basic Bank Accounts would be available to all, so let’s understand our rights. Benefits will soon only be paid into bank (or credit union) accounts, so low income households need one.
Direct debits make life easier, reduce the cost of bills and are essential for renters. If you claim Housing Benefit, as it will no longer be paid to your landlord and you become responsible to receive it and pay it forward, a direct debit will help keep a roof over your head. But you need the right kind of account first.
So if you’re setting up your banking or want to check you have all the service you need, our Banking Guide will give you all you need to know. Click here for our Banking Guide.