Setting up a bank account

To receive your Universal Credit payments you will need a bank, building society or credit union account. 

Opening an account is easy. You only need a basic bank account to receive your Universal Credit payments, so you won’t need to pay a fee or complete a credit check.

What is a basic bank account?

Basic bank accounts are designed for people who do not qualify for a standard current account. This could be because you have not been able to build up a credit history or have a poor credit history.

Basic bank accounts offer fewer services than a standard current account and you cannot use an overdraft. However you can do things like use cash machines, use your debit card to pay for things and set up Direct Debits and standing orders.

To apply for a basic bank account you will need to make an appointment with the bank of your choice and provide proof of ID and proof of address. Don’t forget when you claim for Universal Credit your housing costs (rent) is paid direct to you. You will need to pay your rent to SLH as soon as you receive your Universal Credit payment.

Basic bank accounts from popular banks include:

Opening a credit union account

You can also arrange for your Universal Credit payment to be paid into a credit union account.

Just complete an application form at your local credit union or download an application at

Your local credit union is:

Riverside Credit Union
Woodend Avenue
L24 9HZ

0151 448 0565

If you are not able to open a bank account, contact the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644 to arrange an alternative payment method.

Need some help? Get in touch