The defining feature of a guaranteed bank account is that it does not require a credit check to open. This makes them ideal for people with a poor credit rating, or those who haven't been in the UK long enough to develop a credit history.
One of the reasons these accounts are able to forgo a credit check is because they generally do not have any overdraft facilities. While some may allow an arranged overdraft (so you will be able to go slightly into the red if you warn your bank first), they will not offer an unarranged overdraft, making it much harder, if not impossible, for you to accumulate unaffordable debt with this kind of account.
Other common restrictions on these accounts include the absence of a cheque book and a tendency to be based solely online. While most will come with a debit card of some sort, there might be more restrictions on withdrawals (and remember that you will almost always be charged for using your card abroad). It's important to consider your options carefully, especially as some guaranteed bank accounts may not even allow direct debits and standing orders.
Because they are designed for people who are somewhat limited in their choice of bank account, these accounts may not be as enticing as others. Although some of the best guaranteed bank accounts may offer cashback and other benefits, most will likely charge monthly fees.
To open a bank account with no credit check, you will still need to fill in some personal details and prove that you live at a valid UK address. You will also usually need to be at least 18 years old.
While some of these accounts may also be used as a business bank account, remember that you will have little or no overdraft to call on. It may therefore be better to improve your credit rating and then apply for a business current account that comes with fewer fees and more benefits.
Disclaimer: This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts recommends you obtain independent financial advice.