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