Preparing for Universal Credit

Get a bank account

Universal Credit will be paid into a bank, building society or credit union account but not a Post Office card account, so make sure that you have an account.

Opening a current account with a bank can be difficult if you are on lower income or if you've had poor credit history. Listed below are alternatives to a current account that allow anyone to open one and don't allow you to go overdrawn but provide easy access to your money and direct debits.

A basic bank account

These accounts have most of the features of a current account that allow you to pay money in and take it out but do not allow you to go overdrawn.

Having a bank account will help you manage your money and your bills. You can set up a monthly direct debit for your rent and your bills so they are always automatically paid on time, which will take the worry out of budgeting.

For information on credit union accounts contact

Wessex Community Bank 
Telephone: 023 9282 7980

Managing your money

It is important that you know your household budget, your income and spending and prepare for any changes coming your way. If you are in danger of losing your home or are getting into debt you should seek specialist advice.

For further information, or advice, visit Understanding Universal Credit or contact Universal Credit on 0800 328 5644.

Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service Online Money Manager includes:

  • Step-by-step questions that sign-post users to financial guidance and support relevant to their personal circumstances
  • Hints and tips for managing money and paying bills from a monthly payment
  • Sign-posting to further support, such as Advanced Payments and free debt advice

Find out more about the Money Advice Service Online Money Manager

Get online

You will need to be able to use a computer and the internet to claim Universal Credit as claims will be made and managed online. If you need help to get online or want to refresh your computer skills there are courses available at Central Library.

If you don't have access to a computer, tablet or broadband at home try your local Jobcentre or library.

If you don't already have an email address you will need to set one up as you need it for communication purposes