When you arrive in the UK for the first time, there’s a lot to arrange to ensure things run smoothly as you begin your new life. One of the most important aspects to sort is your finances, which can undoubtedly cause you a headache if you’re not sure what to expect when you arrive in the UK. To help you, we’ve put together this guide that offers advice on what to do as a new arrival in the UK to ensure you can start as you mean to go on as you settle into your new home.
Apply for a bank account
One of the first things you should do when you arrive in the UK is to apply for a personal account with a bank or building society. There are lots of financial institutions in the UK that offer current accounts, so it’s helpful to use a comparison site to find the best account for your financial circumstances.
There are lots of different accounts – current, rewards, student, joint, packaged – for you to choose from, so researching the pros and cons of each is also important.
Start building a credit file
If you want to borrow money in the UK, in general, you need to have a credit file. Unfortunately, when you’re a new resident, you have to start from the very beginning, and it might be a little while until you can access credit. In addition to setting up a bank account, here are some other things that you can do as a new resident to build your credit file:
Apply for a credit card
Once you have a bank account, consider applying for a credit card. You can start using it to pay for purchases, and provided you are disciplined with your repayments, you can show the credit bureaus that you’re responsible for your finances. As a new resident, you can apply for credit builder cards that are specifically designed for people who don’t currently have a credit file in the UK.
Register on the electoral roll
One of the easiest ways to boost your credit file is to register on the electoral roll. It’s one of the first things that credit bureaus look for, and you can do it really easily. Simply head over to the government’s website and register to vote. Even if you’re not planning to vote in an upcoming election, this simple step will help you if you plan on applying for credit in the near future.
Sign up for a mobile phone contract
A mobile phone contract is a credit agreement that you can easily use to your advantage. Not only can you access a new phone without spending a fortune on a new device, but the contract provides you with the ideal opportunity to build your credit history.
When you make regular payments to your mobile phone provider, you are demonstrating your ability to repay debt, which will then be logged positively on your credit file. Just be sure to shop around, as there are lots of companies in the UK that provide mobile phone contracts, and the price will vary from provider to provider.
Seek out financial advice
When you’re trying to settle in the UK, it can be challenging to get your head around the various financial processes and procedures, particularly related to your tax responsibilities. To help you avoid mistakes, consider seeking out some financial advice from a qualified source soon after you arrive in the country. The Citizens Advice Bureau is a great place to begin, as you can find free and impartial financial advice on the site that will help you get financially settled in the UK.
Getting your finances in check when you arrive in a new country can be daunting, but you can make things easier for yourself by following the above tips. At Koyo Loans, we use Open Banking technology to securely view your bank account data.
This enables us to determine affordability rather than simply relying on what a third party says about your credit history. As a result, we can make lending decisions based on real-time data, which is ideal for new arrivals in the UK without a long and established credit history.
Find out more about our available loans and use our loan calculator to work out how much you can borrow and how long you have to pay it back.
Koyo Loans is the trading name of BETR Technology Ltd. Company No. 11483187. Registered Office: Huckletree Soho, Ingestre Court, Ingestre Place, London, W1f 0J