Will switching damage my credit rating?

Published by on 21 October 2010.
Last updated on 19 April 2016

Q: I'm tempted to move from Barclays to Santander. I don't have a problem with Barclays, but Santander has a debit card that offers zero charges while using it abroad, and I travel a lot for work – plus, my mortgage is with Santander.

But I'm worried about my credit score. I recently bought something on store credit and one question on my successful application form was “how long have you been with your bank?” If I change banks, will it damage my credit rating?

A: Justin Modray A former IFA and founder of candid money.com

Switching your bank current account shouldn't generally affect your credit score if your overall rating is good. But some lenders do like to see an applicant who has had the same current account for several years because it suggests financial stability – so it could make a marginal difference.

However, if you move to Santander but keep the Barclays account open with a nominal balance, this will give you the option of using that account on the loan application, which will get around this potential issue.

Moving current accounts is pretty straightforward. You'll just need to transfer your salary and direct debits from the existing current account to the new one; in fact, Santander will do this for you. The whole process should take two to three weeks.

Click here for more on switching current account.

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