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Will Being In My Overdraft Affect My Credit Rating

What Are Overdraft Interest Rates

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Like other loans, your provider will likely charge interest in return for lending you money. The interest will be charged as a percentage of the money you borrow.

You can work out how much interest youll pay from an account’s APR or EAR . APR includes all charges, whereas EAR only includes interest payments. The higher the rate, the more interest youll pay.

Previously, if you went into your overdraft unarranged or didnt repay within sufficient time, youd be liable to significant bank charges. However, as of April 2020, the FCA prevents banks from charging fees for unarranged overdrafts or late payments. And banks can no longer charge different interest rates for arranged and unarranged overdrafts.

To make up for lost revenue, most banks have since increased their overdraft interest rates to around 39.9%. Santander, Lloyds Banking Group and HSBC all have a 39.9% overdraft interest rate as of October 2021. This is double the rate of most credit cards.

If youre a student, you may be able to access a 0% overdraft. This means you won’t pay any interest on the money you borrow .

If You Dont Have An Overdraft

Closing a non-overdraft account is a fairly straightforward process, and you can do it by following the step-by-step guide below. There will be no impact on your credit score, as long as you remember to transfer all your direct debit bill payments to your new account. Once youve closed your account, any future direct debits will be rejected, and if you are unaware of this they could turn up in your credit history as late payments or defaults.

Does A Decrease In My Overdraft Help My Credit Rating

Usually, the fewer loans you have, the better. If you can reduce your overdraft, your should, therefore, improve.

When it comes to paying off all of your outstanding overdraft, this too is a good thing.

Prospective lenders will think positively of you if you don’t use an authorised overdraft as it shows you manage your money well. Every month you avoid using your overdraft will go towards a positive record.

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Why Does It Matter If I Have A Good Credit Score As A Student

Your credit score is like an address for your financial spending history. You will always have one and banks will always check it before issuing any offers.

Which sounds sort of scary.

But itâs not. Credit scores also improve for good financial responsibility and as a student you have loads of opportunity to improve your credit.

What To Do If Youve Been Turned Down For A Mortgage Because Of An Overdraft

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There are many reasons why a mortgage may be rejected due to an overdraft but thankfully this is usually more lender specific than anything else.

The best thing to do in this case is to find out exactly why the lender has rejected the application.

What was it about your overdraft usage did they not like?

  • Do you live in your overdraft?
  • Do you have multiple overdrafts?
  • Do you have a large overdraft facility?
  • Have you had unauthorised overdraft charges?

Then speak to one of the expert brokers we work with who will be able to give you the right advice and potentially find the right lender for your circumstances.

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Are Payday Loans Included

At first, payday loans werent included in the arrangements. Now, theyre offering payment holidays but only for a period of one month, instead of three.

The interest rate on these loans is extortionate so if you can make the payment, do so. If youre struggling to manage, request a holiday for one month but bear in mind that the interest will accrue.

Move Your Overdraft To A 0% Money

A money transfer credit card is interest-free for a period of up to 18 months. This enables you to pay cash into your bank account that can be used to clear the overdraft.

You then make monthly repayments to the card provider during the interest-free period, meaning that every penny you repay goes towards clearing the debt and not towards bank charges.

There is likely, however, to be an initial outlay for the transfer card in the form of a handling fee. This fee is probably between 3% and 4% of the money you borrow.

Remember, when the interest-free period is over, you will start being charged interest at a high rateon any remaining balance, so aim to repay it before this date.

If that is not possible, you could look to apply for another 0% card.

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Does Increasing Your Overdraft Affect Your Credit Rating

If you apply for a bigger overdraft, your bank or building society may carry out another hard search of your credit report.

Again, this could result in your credit score dipping a few points for a few months.

Using more of your overdraft will push up your total debts and could therefore push down your credit rating. Think of your overdraft as a limit, not a target!

However, its far better for your credit rating if you arrange a larger overdraft with your bank, rather than going over a lower limit without asking them.

How Long Can You Have A Student Overdraft For

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You should be able to have a student overdraft for around two to three years.

After you graduate, your account may automatically switch to a graduate account and you should have 2-3 years to pay back the interest-free overdraft. Your bank will pare back the interest-free limit every year. This should give you enough time to pay off the overdraft if your account terms change and you need to start paying interest charges.

Its also worth remembering that you dont have to stay with the same bank at the end of your overdraft term. If you find another account that has better benefits, you can switch.

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Fixing Credit Report Errors

Credit reports are monitored by the three major credit bureaus under the authority of the Federal Trade Commission. Sometimes these bureaus report false information as a result of a clerical error, erroneous information from credit lenders, or even fraud. If there is an error on your credit report, there are several simple yet important steps you can take.

What Happens To Your Credit Score If You Overdraft

With a checking account, you’re generally allowed to only spend the money you have in your account. If you have $100 in your account, for example, you can spend up to $100. If you try to spend $102 and the bank allows the transaction to go through, it would cause your bank balance to go negative. This is referred to as an overdraft.

Your bank will charge an overdraft fee for the courtesy of paying transactions that exceed your bank balance. You might even have to pay a fee if your account remains negative for five or seven consecutive business days. But what do overdrafts mean for your credit?

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How Do Overdraft Text Alerts Work

Our overdraft text alerts help you avoid being charged overdraft interest.

As long as we have a up-to-date mobile number for you, well send you an text alert when youve gone overdrawn or if we know you’re about to.

Can I opt out of text alerts?

You can opt out of receiving text alerts at any time by calling us or asking in-branch. But if you do, please bear in mind that youll be opting out for all your current accounts with us.

If you opt out of text alerts or we dont have an up-to-date number for you, you could end up paying interest that you might otherwise have avoided.

I think I went into an arranged or unarranged overdraft late in the evening or early in the morning, but I didn’t get an alert

Prior to July 2020, we operated a policy of not sending unarranged overdraft alerts late in the evenings and early mornings, even though we were required to do so from February 2018. We are writing to affected customers and refunding fees incurred for these overdrafts.

If you went into an arranged or unarranged overdraft late in the evening or early in the morning during this period, but already received an overdraft alert earlier the same day, there’s a chance we may not have been able to identify these cases and refund any fees. If you think this happened to you, please contact us on 03457 404 404 with as much information about when this occurred, so we can investigate further. We think this affected around 100 customers.

Bank Overdrafts And Your Credit Score

Overdraft: Can It Affect Your Credit Score

While bank overdrafts may not directly affect your credit score, there may be a correlation between several bank overdrafts and a low credit score. If you frequently overdraft your checking account, it’s a sign that you’re spending more money than you really have. This could mean you’re taking on more debt than you can afford to repay and that you’ve missed your credit card payments because you lack the money to pay your bills.

Your payment history and level of debt are two of the biggest influences on your .

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What Does Your Overdraft Say About Your Finances

If you commonly incur overdrafts, it may be an indicator of poor financial health. Bank overdraft protection services are designed to help people cover their expenses in special circumstances. Every now and then, finances get tight and thats okay. But if youre using overdraft protection services all the time, you are likely spending more than you can afford on a regular basis.

If you are using bank overdraft protection services frequently, there are ways to break the cycle and prevent a downward spiral into debt. The best thing you can do is keep track of your finances by budgeting and frequently reviewing your bank balances. This way you can ensure you have money in your account when you know a withdrawal will be occurring soon. Sometimes people incur overdrafts often because of a serious financial issue that is being ignored. If this is you, consider seeking professional help to get out of debt.

It is important to handle issues with frequent overdrafts sooner rather than later. Your current financial decisions could be impacting your financial health in the future. By getting your finances on track today, you will have better finances tomorrow.

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Overdraft Dos And Donts


  • Pay off your overdraft monthly
  • Budget to minimise how much you use it its all to easy to see it as your money
  • Regularly check your credit score
  • Compare the cost of all forms of credit available overdrafts can be a lot more expensive than promotional credit card rates, or low rate personal loans


  • Max out your overdraft every month
  • Rely on it for essential spending
  • Go over your authorised overdraft limit

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Can I Get A Mortgage With An Agreed Overdraft

Yes. The good news is that it is possible to get a mortgage while in an overdraft. Some lenders may ignore large overdrafts that are hardly used but others may not like the potential for borrowing that is readily available and could affect long term affordability, especially if the amount youre looking to borrow is at the higher end of the scale.

Are There Different Types Of Overdrafts

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There are two kinds of overdrafts that you may have with your bank.

The first is an authorised overdraft. This is a form of credit that you’ve made an application for to your bank and that your bank has approved.

The second type is the unauthorised overdraft. An unauthorised overdraft may be granted by banks even though it hasn’t been officially applied for.

Usually, this form of overdraft will be more costly than authorised overdrafts. If you exceed your agreed overdraft limit, you’ll also enter an unauthorised overdraft. Both will affect your credit score.

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What Is An Overdraft Fee

An overdraft happens when you dont have enough money in your checking or savings account to cover a withdrawal or payment and the financial institution then pays for the transaction anyway, which yields a negative balance in your account.

Usually, financial institutions will charge you for this transaction, and that cost is whats known as an overdraft fee.

Also included in this fee is the amount the bank lent you to cover the difference between what you had in your account and the actual payment total.

Federal regulators made it mandatory for certain financial institutions to obtain your consent before adding you to an overdraft protection program that charges an overdraft fee on most ATM and debit card transactions. When opening a checking or savings account, you must opt in to overdraft protection, which allows the institution to apply a fee.

Overdraft fees may not apply to automatic payments or checks. But beware: Certain banks or credit unions may return checks or transactions unpaid, resulting in a nonsufficient funds, also known as a NSF, fee. This fee tends to be a similar amount to an overdraft fee. But if your financial institution rejects a debit card transaction, you may not be charged a fee.

Do Bank Overdrafts Affect Your Credit

Here’s why a bank overdraft might come back to bite you. Boost Your Credit Score

If you overdraw your bank account, it doesnt automatically hurt your credit. Your credit score will suffer, however, if you dont remedy the overdraft, according to Experian. A bank overdraft can ding your finances in other ways, too. For example, your bank will likely charge you a fee to cover the overdraft.

Checking account overdrafts do not directly affect your credit score. If the overdraft amount is sent to collections, however, that could appear on your credit report which could damage your credit score. Find out what bank overdrafts are, how banks deal with them, ways they can ding your credit and learn how to avoid overdrafts for good.

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Will A Mortgage Holiday Affect My Credit Score

At the moment, a mortgage holiday will not affect your credit score. You must, however, arrange the holiday with your provider. You cant just skip your payments that counts as a default which will HUGELY affect your credit rating.

This is only a temporary measure, however. In the future , a mortgage holiday will affect your credit score.

So, if you think you need one or will need one in the next couple of months apply now.

Ways To Stay On Top Of Your Credit

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Looking after your credit is a big part of setting yourself up for plans you may have in the future. Here are some things to think about now for the benefit of later.

1. Pick the right loan type

Payday loans can be tempting, especially when youre struggling towards the end of the month but they stay on your credit history for six years and can affect your credit score. Before finding a lender, try and plan ahead with budgets and plans to avoid borrowing or get some advice from friends or family if you feel unsure. There are other options, such as overdrafts and standard loans that wouldnt negatively impact your credit score as much as a payday loan. This is because some lenders view payday loans negatively, believing payday loan customers are less reliable borrowers.

2. Pre-set your payments

Its always worth ensuring your bill payments are set up, as even one missed or late payment on bills particularly ones in the last 12 months can weaken your credit score and cause charges. Save yourself stress by setting up standing orders or Direct Debits for all your bills, so you never miss a payment. You can also change your payment dates so they come straight after pay day. Lots of companies offer online accounts and apps so you can check your account balances and statements easily.

3. Get rid of unused cards

4. Dont max out your credit card

5. Make more than the minimum payment

6. Register to vote

7. Dont sit on debt

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A Financial Safety Net Just In Case You Need It

If you need a little money to tide you over or cover unexpected expenses, an arranged overdraft can be a useful way of borrowing for the short term.

  • Get text alerts if you’re about to go overdrawn

    If you’ve given us your mobile number, we’ll let you know if you’ve gone overdrawn or if we know you’re about to.1

  • Enjoy peace of mind with an interest-free buffer

    Most of our accounts come with a buffer of £25 or more. So if a payment takes you a few pounds overdrawn, you won’t have to pay any interest.

  • Receive an instant decision if you’ve already got an account

    You can apply for a new or increased overdraft online or in our app. If youre accepted, your funds will be available straight away.

  • Stay in control

    You can reduce your arranged overdraft limit or ask to increase it in our app or online banking. Note: if you’re already overdrawn, you can’t reduce your limit to less than you’ve borrowed.

Checking Your Own Credit

You can check your credit report or score as many times as youd like and your credit score wont drop a single point as long as you check it through a reputable source, like, the credit bureaus, FICO, or a legitimate third-party. However, having a lender check your credit score for you would appear as a hard inquiry, which would affect your credit score the same as an inquiry for a new application.

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