Understanding your overdraft
An overdraft is essentially borrowing through your current account. When you apply for an Arranged Overdraft with us, we look at your circumstances and let you know if you can have one, and how much you can borrow. If you're unsure whether you're eligible for an overdraft, you can use our Eligibility Checker to see whether you're likely to be accepted for one. Is the eligibility checker right for me? You must repay any overdraft when we ask you to in line with our General Terms and Conditions.
Having an overdraft can be useful as a back-up to help you deal with short term, unexpected costs. However, it can be expensive to use an overdraft regularly as the interest can mount up, especially if you go into your unarranged overdraft. Use our Cost Calculator to find out how much it may cost you to use your overdraft.
It's important to remember that different current accounts have different overdraft interest and charges. There are also alternative forms of borrowing, such as loans and credit cards, which could provide cheaper alternatives depending on your personal circumstances.
Arranged and unarranged overdrafts
An arranged overdraft is when your balance is below zero (you're borrowing from the bank) but within an arranged limit. You must agree the limit with us before it's available to use.
An unarranged overdraft is when your account goes:
- over your arranged overdraft limit, or
- overdrawn without an arranged overdraft in place.
When you try to make a payment that would take you into an unarranged overdraft, we make the decision whether to allow or reject the payment based on your individual circumstances. If we allow a payment, it will take you into an unarranged overdraft. We don’t charge fees for allowing or refusing a payment due to lack of funds.
Interest charges for using an arranged overdraft depend on which account you have with us. For more details on these charges take a look at the web page for your particular account, or use our Cost Calculator to find out how much it may cost to use your overdraft.
We've changed the way we charge for overdraft in line with new regulation, moving from daily fees to a single rate of interest as well as removing unarranged overdraft fees.
Check if you’re likely to be accepted for an overdraft.
See your results if you’ve already used the overdraft eligibility checker.
Not sure what you’ll pay to use an overdraft?
If you have an arranged overdraft with us, we’ll normally charge you an arranged overdraft interest rate for each day you use it.
Use our Cost Calculator to see how much it may cost you to use your overdraft.
Whether or not we agree to give you an overdraft will depend on your circumstances and you must repay any overdraft when we ask you to in line with our General Terms and Conditions. If you have an Arranged Overdraft on your Choice Current Account and you go beyond your limit we will continue to charge you the Arranged Overdraft Usage Fee. There are no overdraft or Transaction Fees on the Basic Current Account because you are not allowed to go overdrawn on this account.
More details on our interest can be found on the web pages for each current account
If you have an account which is no longer available to new customers, please visit our Important information for accounts no longer available to open page for further details.
Online and Mobile Banking
One of the best ways to stay on top of your accounts is to check your balance regularly. Online and Mobile Banking helps by letting you access your banking wherever you are. As long as you have internet access, you can log on to see your balance and what payments have gone in and out of your account.
We're changing the way we present your balance across Online and Mobile Banking, as well as ATMs and in branch, for more information please see our Account Changes page.
If you'd like more information about understanding overdrafts, statements, how to manage your money, setting up account alerts and more, please read our Managing your money leaflet (pdf)
Free text account alerts
Account alerts can help you avoid overdraft charges, or keep them to minimum, to help you with this, we automatically register you for free alerts about your overdraft usage.
The alerts are free and let you know when you’ve entered your arranged overdraft, for example due to a regular payment. We’ll send your alerts as texts to the mobile number you’ve registered with us, so please make sure it’s up-to-date. If you have Mobile Banking we may also choose to send you alerts as notifications there.
We no longer automatically register you to receive unarranged overdraft alerts by email, but if you already do, this will continue.
Once your account has been set up, these alerts can be easily customised or, if you prefer, turned off, by logging onto Online Banking.
Time to manage your account
If you use an arranged or unarranged overdraft, you'll have until 4pm that day to credit your account with cleared funds and move your balance back into your Arranged Overdraft or into credit and avoid interest.
Reducing or cancelling your overdraft facility
An overdraft has no specific end date, which means it will continue until either you tell us you no longer want it, or we give you notice that we're reducing it or removing it in full.
If you'd like to reduce or cancel your overdraft facility, you can do this through your online banking or please call 0800 9 123 123. Alternatively, visit your local branch
If you have a current account with us and would like to apply for an overdraft or an increase to your existing overdraft (depending on your circumstances), you can apply by:
- logging on to Online Banking
- calling us on: 0800 9 123 123.
- popping into a branch with 2 forms of identification. Find your local branch with our branch locator
If you haven't got a Santander current account and would like to open one, you can apply for an overdraft at the same time. Take a look at our full range of current accounts for more information.
Using an overdraft is borrowing, or getting into debt. Because you're asking to borrow from us, if you ask for a new overdraft or overdraft extension we'll check your financial history with the three main credit agencies. This is called a credit check. If we ask for a credit check on you but don't give you an overdraft or overdraft extension, our request will stay on the files that the credit agencies keep on you.
Having trouble paying your overdraft or other debts?
It's easy to feel overwhelmed by finances, especially if times are tight. Writing down exactly what you have coming in and out of your account could help you to figure out where your money is going.
Try filling in a budget planner to see what your spending looks like then come and talk to us in your local Santander branch if you'd like help with any of your accounts, overdrafts, loans or credit cards.
We also have some helpful information on managing your finances on our Money worries pages.
Below are some examples of overdraft usage and how transactions and interest may be processed.