Practical information & advice

Read our latest news posts about financial issues



Here you’ll find links to various parts of this site where we have information and useful resources relating to financial issues.

I’m having problems with insurance – where should I go?

We’ve put together a list of motor insurers for people with non-motoring convictions and a list of brokers for anybody with an unspent conviction. Useful links include:

I’m having problems with bank accounts – where should I go?

Most banks offer a basic bank account and, providing you have the relevant ID, opening an account should be quite easy. You may have more difficulty if you are in prison or have a fraud conviction. Useful links include:

Will my criminal record cause me problems getting a mortgage?

If you’re asked to disclose any unspent convictions then legally you are required to disclose them. Every bank/building society will have their own lending criteria and some may refuse a mortgage to anybody with a criminal record. Useful links include:

I’m looking for funding – who can help?

This will depend on what you need funding for. You may be eligible for government funding if you want to do a college/university course or set up a business. There are also charitable foundations who give funding for specific items to people with a criminal record. Useful links include:

What other areas might my criminal record cause me problems financially?

A criminal record will have different implications for different people. Some will need to claim benefits for the first time whilst others will start to receive pension payments which have been stopped whilst they were in prison. Useful links include:



Here you’ll find some of the common advice we give on financial issues. This is based on what we’ve learnt as a charity, as well as the real-life experiences of people with convictions.

  • Unlock is a small independent charity, and as a result of the areas that we focus on in our work, we’re unable to provide grants or loans.


Frequently asked questions

Here you’ll find some specific questions that we regularly get about financial issues and the answers we generally provide. More detailed FAQ’s may be included in the information pages above.

Credit ratings agencies do not have access to criminal records. However, as part of the background checking by banks and others, they might check fraud databases such as CIFAS. Also, if you’ve been in prison for some time, you might have a poor credit rating simply because you’ve not been financially active.


Here you’ll find links to useful organisations and websites related to financial issues that we refer to in our information and advice. Contact details for the organisations listed below can be found here.


Read personal stories

The personal story below has been posted on theRecord, our online magazine.


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