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Halifax Student Account Overdraft - Let's set the record straight
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# 1
binary0110
Old 11-10-2006, 4:00 PM
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Default Halifax Student Account Overdraft - Let's set the record straight

Recently, there have been a handful of posts regarding the new Halifax Student Account with up to 2750 interest free overdraft from the first year. I thought I would share my recent experience with this product and ask for views from others who have done the same.

I successfully applied to open a Halifax Student account ~ 1 month ago and was given a 500 overdraft as soon as it was open. I subsequently went to the branch to ask if it could be increased and they were able to increase it to 1000 but then told me that I would have to ring up Halifax to increase it any further. So, I phoned Halifax who told me that I would have to make an application via the branch who would then e-mail to ask for the overdraft to increase.

Back to the branch I went armed with Student Loan and Bursary assessments proving my "guaranteed income" (almost 6000) for the coming academic year. The assistant at the branch photocopied all the paperwork and told me that he would e-mail to ask for the overdraft to be increased. Being a 5th year student with a reasonable guaranteed income, I felt that I had quite a strong application.

Last week, I received a letter stating that my application had been refused and that if I wanted to discuss the decision, I would have to visit the branch. So, back I went again and I asked them to explain why I had been refused only to be told that they were unable to help as only the head office could deal with overdraft applications. I then asked if they could phone the overdraft department at the head office but I was told that they don't accept phone calls concerning individual customer accounts!

As a result, I am going to write to Halifax head office myself to see what is going on but I wondered if anyone has successfully applied with Halifax to increase their interest free overdraft and if so, what did you have to do?

Binary0110

P.S. Martin, I feel it might be worth reviewing the "Top Student Accounts" article to reflect that fact that the Halifax account probably isn't as good as it seems as it appears very few people are getting more than a 1000 overdraft.
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# 2
guerillasaver
Old 11-10-2006, 6:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binary0110
P.S. Martin, I feel it might be worth reviewing the "Top Student Accounts" article to reflect that fact that the Halifax account probably isn't as good as it seems as it appears very few people are getting more than a 1000 overdraft.
I agree. I was refused an account completely. My credit rating is fine and I work part time with an income of about 8k for the term... :confused: Go figure...
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# 3
binary0110
Old 05-11-2006, 9:05 PM
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Just to update everyone, I did write to Halifax Head office a few weeks ago to provide documentary evidence of regular income into my account and to complain about the lack of transparency regarding the interest free overdraft facility on the student bank account although I never actually expected a reply.

To my great surprise, yesterday morning I received a very apologetic, personally signed letter from the HBOS Personal Lending department in Edinburgh. The Operations Manager explained that the level of the overdraft depends on actual (rather than predicted as from a Student Loan Assessment letter) income before it may be increased. It also stated that the branch should have provided a full explanation as to what would have been necessary for an increase in the level of the overdraft to the maximum level and should have been able to discuss this with me rather than referring me to write to the head office.

The Personal Lending department also agreed to increase my overdraft to 2000 following a manual (rather than computer-guided) review of recent income into my account and suggested that it might be possible to apply for further increases after ~3 months. I was also supplied with a "Personal Customer Complaints" leaflet detailing further avenues to complain if I wasn't satisfied.

Overall, I am pleasantly surprised by the outcome - my general opinion was that high street banks don't aim to provide good customer service (as opposed to a generic and inexpensive service to all customers regardless of their individual situations) so to receive this letter was quite a shock.

If anyone else has been unsatisfied by the level of interest-free overdraft on their Halifax Student Account, I would urge them to write to Head Office directly as Halifax may be willing to reconsider your situation on an individual basis:

Halifax plc, Customer Relations, PO Box 548, Leeds LS1 1WU

HTH,

Binary0110
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# 4
Sarahpuggy
Old 05-11-2006, 9:59 PM
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I graduated from uni last June, but i was with halifax and my overdraft was 2100. this was before they increased the maximum amount to 2750. I didn't have any other income apart from my student loan (3450 for the final year) so not really sure what they are basing all this on!

I now have until Sep 2007 interest free on it (got it down to 1900 at the moment) and then i'll start paying interest i guess..
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# 5
PandaPants
Old 06-11-2006, 9:22 AM
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How odd. Halifax are really odd!

I too applied for a student account and was refused! I have a 2 part-time jobs and earn around £9-10 k a year....
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# 6
CrispyUK
Old 06-11-2006, 2:19 PM
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Mine was a bit jumpy with the overdraft at first, once my loan installment went in I asked the branch to e-mail head office asking for the highest overdraft they'd give me and was given 1,750.
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# 7
Cos2k3
Old 06-11-2006, 8:01 PM
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I got £1900 limit on my OD, I wont be sticking around because they have no proper graduate accounts, If your with the halifax and have graduated id recommend switching somewhere else as they only offer 0% for 12 months after you finish.
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# 8
techno_geek
Old 06-11-2006, 9:04 PM
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Halifax bumped my OD up to 1000 when I opened the account, and I phoned them today to get it increased... they refused at first, so I asked to speak to someone in the lending department.

I need the max. amount (or 2000 at least) to cover my accommodation fees in January!

The woman on the other end went quiet, then said she'd talk to her supervisor. When she returned, she said she could email the lending department and ask for a reconsideration... I was told to phone back on Wednesday to see what the decision is.

I hope they see sense, otherwise they'll have a rather acidic letter from me to answer to!
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# 9
techno_geek
Old 06-11-2006, 10:26 PM
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Just logged in to Online Banking... and i've been given the 2000 overdraft

I'm still going to write a letter complaining at the lack of transparency of their offer of 2700, and the fact that I had to effectively beg them for them to make the overdraft available so I could pay my rent!

It's misled many students to apply for the account because it "offered" such a large overdraft - a necessity for students who, like me, spend their entire student loan on paying accommodation fees, and need the overdraft to live off!
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# 10
Finance12345
Old 07-07-2008, 12:42 AM
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Cool this is what ive been told

My teacher back in college said that you need to make it look like you will have temporary difficulty with your cashflow, if you are earning 10k a year as a student and you never get close to your current overdraft limit they are unlikely to increase the amount.

Not sure how true this is as I am only just applying for the account now, but hope this helps anyway.
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# 11
Tombe
Old 07-07-2008, 1:14 AM
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Both me and my friend have student accounts with halifax. The other day he went to the city centre branch and asked for his limit to be extended. The woman there asked him a few questions; who much he earns? What year he's going into? etc. She then made a quick phone call and his limit was extended to the maximum amount of 2,750.

So i thought i might as well extend my limit as there was about 100 left on it to avoid being charged if i went over. I went in to the same branch and asked for a 500 extension. I was asked the same questions as my friend the the woman went to the back office and when she returned said she was unable to extend it.

I was left a bit puzzled at how my friend was able to extended his and i wasn't. We both do the same part time job and get paid exactly the same, he's pervious limit was 1,300 and mine was 1,500. The only difference is i am going into my third year and he's going into his second year, which works in my favour but yet i was unable to extend my limit while his was done on the spot. My credit history is spotless and the only reason i can think of why they didn't extend it is that i have a 100 left on my limit an my friend had 350, so they are waiting for me to go over so they can charge me, which during my 2 years with them have never gone over my arranged overdraft.

I Went to Halifax and asked them why i had been rejected an overdraft extension, they said that they dont know the reason exctly because it was the appeals department that made the decision. However I was given a phone number and asked to ring it to find out why. So i rang it and still they didn't have a clear answer and said that they will send out a letter to explain why i had been rejected an overdraft extension, i didnt understand to why they couldn't just tell me then. Nevertheless, i recieved a latter from the Halifax this morning saying the reason for there decision was; "This decision has been based on a review of your finances." which is a bit vague and doesn't tell me anything i didn't already know. But i as i mentioned in my earlier post my friend is in the same financial position. Anyway i find all of this a bit of a joke, it took almost a week to try and get an answer and then they tell me something i already know.

From my experience and what i have read here and other forums i just can't hlep but think that overdraft extentions at the halifax are given randomly.


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# 12
regularsaver1
Old 07-07-2008, 10:44 PM
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the lady would have rung the underwriters and it would have been their decision based on the conduct & history of your account and the money/credits received into your account
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# 13
jackk
Old 08-07-2008, 2:30 PM
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I have a current account with Halifax (have had for 8 yrs), but was recently refused a student account??

Jackie x
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# 14
pollythena
Old 09-07-2008, 2:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techno_geek View Post
Just logged in to Online Banking... and i've been given the 2000 overdraft

I'm still going to write a letter complaining at the lack of transparency of their offer of 2700, and the fact that I had to effectively beg them for them to make the overdraft available so I could pay my rent!

It's misled many students to apply for the account because it "offered" such a large overdraft - a necessity for students who, like me, spend their entire student loan on paying accommodation fees, and need the overdraft to live off!
You could get a job. :rolleyes: My loan went on my tuition fees, then what was left went on rent, then I worked all through uni to afford to live. Yes, I had an overdraft, but it was never more than 500 - remember that you have to pay it back one day, and they don't have to give you one at all.

The adverts do say 'up to', and as with all credit, they will assess the likelihood of getting it back before they decide how much they are prepared to lend you.
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# 15
bfreeman
Old 08-07-2009, 8:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PandaPants View Post
How odd. Halifax are really odd!

I too applied for a student account and was refused! I have a 2 part-time jobs and earn around 9-10 k a year....

totally agree I have no income other than my student loan. I have a terrible credit history, and no one one has granted me any form of credit for the last 6 years , except Halifax, who gave me 1000 pound overdraft and 800 pound credit card !
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