Is Starling strictly for people with 'good' credit?


Hi all,

I had an issue around 3 years ago where I got 3 defaults due to unforeseen issues with my job. Since then, I have been paying for things and increasing my credit as much as possible. I’ve not missed payments in a long time, and have a full santander uk current account (which was opened last year, moving from barclays) so it seems I can get credit.

However I was declined for Sterling? I have been using Monzo since the UK bank account was released, and have had no problems with them. I saw Sterling done a credit check and an identity check, but received nothing else to say why I was declined so assumed it to be credit.

I’ve tried googling this, but can’t find anything to suggest it’s my credit, but I can’t think what else would make me get declined? Pretty gutted to be honest, I wanted to use Sterling and close my monzo.


Sorry, realised this would be better in bugs & help maybe?
Not sure who I report it to, to ask to move it.


I have recategorised it for you.

Hopefully @StarlingSupport can help you


Perfect! Thank you.

I wouldn’t ask for an overdraft feature or anything of the sort, I just want to use Sterling to budget better. I’ve been using Monzo for a long time, but recently my girlfriend has been using Sterling and I’ve noticed the better features etc - so it’s a shame I can’t get round this decline :frowning:


It is possible that a credit check would be performed as even though Starling day that you need to have sufficient funds in your account otherwise the payment will be declined, they have said they cannot guarantee this. Also, the credit check would be performed to ascertain whether an overdraft can be offered.


All banks are required to certain checks, including identity checks. In generally they are done automatically and if Starling can confirm your details it will open your account, if it can’t confirm them automatically it will ask you to send further documents.

A credit check will be done and the basis of that will decide whether or not you get an overdraft.

If you don’t qualify for an overdraft then your account will be opened without an overdraft.

Its only really banks that accounts give you the facility to go overdrawn, is where they reject applications. Starling doesn’t offer a facility to go into an unauthorised overdraft, so there is no risk for it to accept everyone.


I don’t mind the credit check, I naturally assumed it would take place to confirm my identity and such.

My question is more - if my driving license all checks out and my details can be confirmed, is the reason for the application rejection more because of my credit?


No you won’t get rejected based on a credit check.

I know someone that has horrendous credit and was accepted in minutes.


Hmm, so that’s very strange.

My identity can be confirmed through a lot of providers, I’m on the electoral roll, my driving license picture is only a few months old so looks like me, yet I was declined. I wonder why this could be then, as I had no documents requested, it just said at this time they’re unable to offer me an account.


There could be a number of reasons, if you have an IVA or bankruptcy. If you are on one of the fraud databases. If you have another account with Starling and so on.

Starling’s Terms and Conditions are simple, and states as long as you pass the checks and meet the requirements it’s that simple to open an account.

Only Starling can answer why they didn’t open your account, but nothing in the Terms that state they base account opening on your credit score.


I have no IVA’s/bankruptcy, just 3 defaults from 2015 (now paid in full). Never opened another account with Starling, that’s where my confusion is.

I’ve tried speaking to the web live chat to see if there’s any documents they need, but they’ve not been too helpful regarding this.


I was wondering if there is any sort of credit check for new customers, aside from that which relates to overdrafts. I’ll be interested to hear what Starling have to say. I know some banks offer a basic bank account to those who have a poor credit history.


Exactly my point, because if I know it is then I know I won’t be able to sign up.

Otherwise, I don’t understand why I can’t use starling, I’m more than happy to show any staff member more documents if they can’t confirm my identity :frowning:


Fingers crossed that @StarlingSupport can help out here.


Sure hope so!

Would be nice to get my account opened, and start using it :slight_smile:


All banks do a credit check. Starling is no different.


Sorry, I clarified what I meant by doing a credit check just above.

I have no problems with Starling doing a credit check, it’s the after process I was querying.


Hi @kycoys

We would just like to reinforce the point that a person does not have to have good credit to open an account with Starling as we are here to assist in making your financial life easier.

Starling conducts multiple checks when applying for an account, a few of these checks include identity, anti-money laundering, industry standard fraud prevention (CIFAS) and credit checks.

Obviously we understand that you’d like to know a bit more; we’d always advise that you can acquire more info from credit bureaus in relation to your current eligibility. We can see that you’ve been in touch with us directly and we will be responding to your enquiry there as this relates to your personal details.

Please bare in mind that the majority of UK banks do soft credit checks when applying for a current account. Banks perform hard checks when an overdraft or any line of credit is accepted, but either way, a soft credit check would have been done regardless if you were to accept the overdraft or not.


Thanks for responding to my query, Logan!

I will speak with you via the query registered, appreciate your response!


I won’t lie, I’m a little disappointed in Starling.

I thought the whole idea was to help me budget my money better, yet it seems people with bad credit can’t actually use it, so it’s pretty much budgeting for people who can already handle finances. Not attacking anyone, it’s their policy and I understand.

Another user in the monzo community has the same issue, he was rejected due to credit and feels the same way.

I would ultimately like to try Starling out, so I’m pretty gutted!