Need further guidance?

You’re in the right place.

Find answers to common questions, and useful links to make switching your current account, mortgage or credit card even easier.

’Transferring money was the only reason I thought of switching. The girls I was living with were all with a different bank.  We might have been grocery shopping or swapping money and we could do it instantly. At the time it just made the most sense, and it was easy to do.‘’ 

Denise,  Dublin. Switched current account.

Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility

Q. Can I switch my current account?

A. First, check if you’re a suitable candidate for your new chosen current account. Some banks or building societies might want a minimum number of direct debits and a set amount of money going into your account each month. You can check the details of individual offers on this comparison tool.  If you want an overdraft, you’ll also need to discuss and agree on an overdraft facility with your new bank before making the switch (depending on your suitability).

Current Account Compare Tool

This will bring you to a comparison tool on the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission website.

Q. Can I switch my credit card?

A. Many credit card companies insist that new applicants have a certain level of income, so check their terms and conditions before you apply.

Q. Can I switch my mortgage?

A. You need to consider whether it is practical for you to switch mortgage so knowing your current mortgage situation will help you work out your eligibility. Be aware of the following factors:

  • Know the outstanding balance on your mortgage. If it’s small then you may find it hard to switch as around €30,000 is the minimum new mortgage that banks will accept for mortgage switchers.
  • How much you owe on your mortgage in relation to the value of your house is known as the Loan-To-Value ratio. Mortgage holders with lower LTV ratios will qualify for lower mortgage rates easier than those with higher LTV ratios. Lenders will assess this LTV ratio when they are underwriting your mortgage to see whether the level of risk involved is acceptable for them.
  • You must show that you have been making payments on your current mortgage and meet the new bank’s criteria for repayments. You may not be able to switch if you are behind on your repayments.
  • You must meet the new bank’s income criteria to be considered.
  • Make sure your mortgage is not locked into a fixed rate contract with your current bank or lender. You may still be able to exit a fixed rate contract but will probably incur a fee for doing so. Check how much this will be before you decide to switch.
  • You must have a good credit rating as your new bank will do a credit check as part of their assessment. If you have taken out loans or credit cards since your first mortgage and have run into repayment difficulties then this might affect your new lender’s opinion of you.
  • It may not be beneficial to switch if you are on a tracker mortgage.

Q.I have a joint account. Can I switch it?

A. Yes, as long as both you and your named partner on the joint account agree and you are switching to another joint account.

Q. Can I switch my current account if I am overdrawn?

A. Yes. You will need to agree overdraft facilities with your new bank. They may give you the opportunity to pay off your existing overdraft depending on their normal lending criteria. If you are unable to come to an arrangement then you must make sure your existing overdraft is repaid before switching banks.

The Switching Process

Current account

Q. Can I choose the switch date?

A. Yes, you can choose the switch date that suits you. Just be sure to inform your new bank so they agree on it.  Choose a date when there is low activity  on your account.  You should allow 10 working days for the switch to get your new account up and running.

Q. When will the money in my old account be transferred to my new account?

A. Your money will be transferred within 7 working days of your chosen switch date.

Q. What if I change my mind?

A. You can cancel your switchover up to 10 working days before your switch date.  Your new bank will guide you through this process if you decide that switching is not for you.

Mortgage

Q. Will I save by switching?

A. You can compare your options here. This handy tool will show you the difference between what you’re currently paying and what’s available in the market. So you can compare the cost per month and over the lifetime of your mortgage.  All you have to do is enter the market value of your home, your outstanding mortgage balance and your current monthly repayments.

Mortgage Compare Tool

This will bring you to a comparison tool on the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission website.

Q. What are the fees involved?

A. If you’re eligible to switch your mortgage, you can expect some costs including legal fees. Compare your current mortgage with any attractive mortgage offer in the market and consider all the costs. These can include:

  • Redemption fees – These charges may cover the cost of repaying a mortgage early or breaking a fixed rate.
  • Legal costs – Some lenders may offer to cover the total cost or a portion of your legal fees. Find out how much your new lender is willing to pay. If your legal fees are higher than what the new bank will cover then you must pay the balance.
  • Valuation fees – Many new lenders will ask you to get a new valuation of your property. The cost of the valuation report is generally covered by you.
  • Product fees – Some lenders charge a fee to arrange the loan which can be around 0.5% of the total cost of the mortgage.
  • Mortgage broker fees – Check in advance if the broker you want to deal with will charge you for mortgage advice or arranging your mortgage.
  • Administration fee – Some lenders charge this fee to cover additional services before you get your mortgage or for rearranging your mortgage terms. Be aware that if you choose not to go ahead with your mortgage application then you may not get your money back.

Q. What documents do I need?

A. This depends on the lender but usually you will need to provide the following:

  • Proof of your identity – a valid passport or driving licence;
  • Proof of your address – a current household bill in your name;
  • Proof of your income – your latest P60 and at least 3 recent payslips; and
  • Proof that you can manage your money – current account and loan account statements for the last 12 months.

You may also be asked for other personal details or information:

  • Employment status – Lenders will want proof of whether you are in a permanent full-time job, on a contract or working part-time.
  • Your income – Lenders will look at your annual income and may take bonuses or overtime into consideration. Some lenders may factor in rental income if you plan to rent out spare rooms.
  • Your age – Lenders will also consider the number of years left until you reach retirement.
  • Other financial commitments – You might have childcare costs as well as loan repayments to manage. Lenders will take all of this into account.
  • Value of your house – This is the market value or purchase price of your home for which you need a mortgage.
  • Borrowing amount – Know the total sum of money that you need to borrow.
  • Direct debit – A new direct debit will have to be set up with the new lender.  You will need to check when the final month’s payment is made to your previous lender and that you cancel the old direct debit in writing with your previous lender and with the bank managing your current account. That will ensure no further payments are taken.
  • Guarantor – A family member or friend who agrees to repay the mortgage if you are unable.
  • Mortgage Protection and House Insurance – Find out if your original policy will cover the mortgage if you switch. Tell your insurance company that you are changing mortgage provider as they will have to note the new lender on any relevant policies.
  • Separation agreements – You may be asked for any other appropriate legal agreements that may be necessary in order to review your application.

Q. What if I am in negative equity?

A. You may not be able to switch to a new bank if you are in negative equity (when your mortgage is worth more than the market value of your home) but you may be able to switch to a different product with your current provider.

Q. How long does it take to switch mortgage?

A. It depends on different factors and the time it takes to get the right documents, valuation surveys and mortgage protection in place. There is no set timeframe when it comes to mortgage applications but the process usually takes a couple of months.

Credit Card

Q. Will I be approved for a new card?

A. Before you apply, make sure you go through the criteria set out by the company in question to give yourself the best chance. Credit card providers generally want details of your age and income to be sure that you can meet your credit card payments. Many providers have different minimum income levels set down in their terms and conditions. Know beforehand if you meet their income requirements and have a copy of your contract of employment handy as proof.

Q. How long does it take to switch credit cards?

A. It depends on each application and the bank in question but it should normally take a few weeks.

Here’s some surprising statistics

  • One in five mortgage holders could save by switching their mortgage.*
  • Almost 70% of potential mortgage switchers would cover the net cost within a year of switching.*
  • Four out of five people don’t know the cost of transactional banking like ATM withdrawals, money transfers and bill payments.**
  • Four out of five people are unaware of the CBI Statutory Code for Switching which means banks and building societies must have your new current account up and running in 10 working days.***
  • Ninety-nine percent of current account switches are completed successfully within 10 working days.*
  • We are least likely to switch bank products compared to other household bills.***

*Central Bank of Ireland

**Amarach Research

***Coyne Research

Links

CCPC > Current Account

CCPC > Mortgage

CCPC > Credit Card

The links above will send you through to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) cost comparison tools. These tools will help you compare financial products.

ABOUT THE COMPETITION AND CONSUMER PROTECTION COMMISSION (CCPC)

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is the statutory body responsible for enforcing consumer protection and competition law in Ireland.

Its mission is to make markets work better for consumers and businesses. Its vision is for open and competitive markets where consumers are protected and empowered and businesses actively compete.

Its role and functions include personal finance information and education. The CCPC has a specific role under legislation to provide personal finance information and education to consumers. This includes providing information through a consumer helpline and website, providing financial product comparison and calculator tools, conducting public awareness campaigns and working on financial education programmes for schools and workplaces.