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Dealing with debt

How can I manage my debt more responsibly?

A personal loan, credit card or overdraft can give you a cushion or an extra boost when you need it. But as a responsible bank, we want to help you stay in control so you avoid debt you can’t manage. That’s why we’ll only lend what we know you can afford, and we offer tools to help you keep track of your spending. Here’s how we can help you stay in control.

Here are a few ways we can help you manage your debt

1. We can give you alerts before you reach your credit limit

If you want, we’ll send you a text when you’re getting close to your credit limit so you don’t accidently go over it.

2. Fair and transparent rates

We believe in fair and transparent rates. We tell you our interest rates right at the beginning, so you know exactly how much you’ll pay and for how long.

3. Automated payments and direct debits

Never miss a payment date. Set up automated payments and Direct Debits to pay your bills on the day they’re due.

Need help with something specific?

I need help managing repayments

I need help managing repayments

When you borrow money, you need to make sure you can afford to pay it back. Before you take out a loan, look at your finances and make sure that you can comfortably afford the monthly repayments. Aim to spend less than you earn.

When you’re drawing up your monthly budget, bear in mind that life has a habit of springing expensive surprises:

  • the boiler may break down
  • an insurance premium may go up
  • one of the family may announce they’re getting married overseas
  • your rent or mortgage repayments may go up
  • interest rates rise

You might also want to consider what would happen if your circumstances changed – if you lost your job, retired, or had to cut your working hours. So try to build some contingency for unexpected life events into your planning.

When you’ve drawn up your budget, stick to it (our money management tools will help), and any money left over can go into your savings pot.

I'm feeling overwhelmed by my debt problems

I'm feeling overwhelmed by my debt problems

The worst thing you can do with debt is ignore it. The longer you leave it, the more it will build up and the harder it will be to get it sorted.

Talk about it. Don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0345 08 08 500 and we’ll work with you to provide a solution that gets your finances back on track as soon as possible.

I don't understand my credit score

I don't understand my credit score

A credit score is a key factor used by banks and other lenders to decide whether to lend to you.

The better your credit score, the better interest rate you’re likely to get.

If you have a lower credit score, you may still be able to borrow money but you may be offered a smaller amount, or a higher interest rate.

Your credit score is partly based on your credit report. These reports are produced by 3 main companies in the UK. They contain information about how you manage your finances, including bank and credit cards, loans and utility bills and whether you’ve paid on time or missed payments.

You can check your credit report by contacting Equifax, Experian or Noddle

FAQs

  • Where can I get more advice on dealing with debt?

    Talk to us first. Come in to your local store and we can help. Don’t forget, we are open until 8pm in the week and at weekends too – so you can make it a time that is convenient for you. You can also call us on 0345 08 08 500 24 hours a day and one of our UK-based customer service representatives can give you assistance. Don’t lie awake worrying.

    There are also lots of helplines and websites to help you deal with debt. Citizens Advice,  National Debtline, The Money Advice Service and Gov.uk all have useful advice and links to help you.

  • What is debt consolidation?

    Debt consolidation involves taking out a new loan to pay off a number of other debts. So, if you have several debts, for example loans and debts on different credit cards you can pay them off with the loan. The advantage of doing this is that you may be able to reduce the overall total of monthly payments towards your debts. You can also find that you are paying back some of the debts at a lower interest rate. However, because you may need to pay for longer the overall cost of any loan could increase. You also need to check that you won’t have to pay any penalty or fees if you pay off a debt early and any fees for arranging the new loan. You should take free debt advice before considering a consolidation loan so that you can be sure it is the right option for you.

    Get more independent information about debt consolidation loans

  • How can I improve my credit score?

    Your credit score can affect your ability to borrow money when you need it. So if you have had problems then you can take steps to improve it. If you have a good score it helps to know what simple steps you can take to avoid damaging it.

    If you already have high levels of debt avoid taking on any more debt – as all debt applications get recorded against your credit score. 

    Don’t apply for lots of credit at once. If you want to compare rates ask the lender to carry out a quotation search – so that it is clear that it is not an application.

    Make sure you clear any outstanding County Court Judgements against you.

    Missing payments or making late payments will count against you – including things like mobile phone and utility bills. These stay on your credit record for up to six years. Set up Direct Debits or automatic transfers for your bills so you don’t forget to pay them on time.

    Make sure you are on the electoral register as lenders check this to see that you are who you say you are.

    Fix any mistakes that are on your credit report.

    Get further information on improving your credit score

    The three main credit reference agencies also offer advice on your credit score: EquifaxExperian or Noddle

Looking for independent advice?

 

the money advice service logo

The money advice service can provide independent advice and information on dealing with your debt. Visit them at www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk.