Choosing A Current Account

Before you open a current account, decide what your needs are and take time to look for the account with features best suited to your needs.

Why give away interest?

Even if you don't have much money left in your account by the end of the month, your average balance could still be high enough to earn you, say, £40 or £60 interest a year - perhaps more. It's not much but why give it to your bank when both banks and building societies offer interest-earning current accounts?

Unless you're particularly looking for a 'high interest' account ), don't bother shopping around for the current account with the best interest rate - the difference between the best and worst is likely to be less than £40 a year. Other features - particularly charges - are likely to be more important when selecting an account.

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Keeping The Costs Down

Even the most careful customer can slip up from time to time, but there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of going overdrawn, and to keep the costs down if you do go briefly into the red:

- get your salary paid directly into your account. You'll be able to get at your money more quickly than if you have to pay it in by cheque

- try to fix standing order and direct debit dates soon after your salary has been paid in. It's more likely that funds will be available then and less likely that you'll overlook regular bills when working out how much you've got left to spendKeeping The Costs Down

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