Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    • PennyRose
    • By PennyRose 17th May 17, 10:46 AM
    • 1Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Overdraft debt- 17 years to pay off!!
    • #1
    • 17th May 17, 10:46 AM
    Overdraft debt- 17 years to pay off!! 17th May 17 at 10:46 AM
    I have a joint account with my recently made ex-husband. It has £1k overdraft on it which is my responsibility to pay off (we have divided our debts equally but the account has to stay as an open joint account until I can pay off the overdraft and close it). I currently work part time and bring in just over £1k per month. I donít have any children. I donít receive any government help because my earnings are £15k per year which is over their threshold for things like tax credits.

    I had previously worked full time and with loosing another full time wage in the house things have rapidly gone downhill financially for me. I am not able to take out other loads/credit cards so I have contacted my banks who have all been great and I am on low payment plans with them for 1 loan and 2 c/cards.

    The problem is with my overdraft. I am getting charged around £15 per month in fees and interest. I can probably afford to pay £20 per month to start getting this paid off but with those charges I am only paying £5 per month Ė at that rate I am looking at 17 years to pay this off!
    (my ex-husband is also giving me grief about this account still being open so I am eager to get this paid and closed so I donít have to hear from him!!)

    I have contacted my bank and explained the situation. I have also said how great they have been regarding my other debts and whether I could do a similar thing whereby they stop the charges/interest and allow me to just make monthly payments to pay it off. They have said no. They have said that although this can be done with loans and credit cards it isnít something they can do with the overdraft!!

    I donít know what to do now? I was thinking of writing to them to see if that helps but Iím not 100% sure what else I can add to help my case? They already know my situation; they have already done an affordability check for my other debts. I have been very open with them about it all. My plan is to get a full time job again so that I can more income I can put towards the debt.

    Does anyone else have experience of this? Could anyone think of something I could write to strengthen my case?

    All help appreciated!

    Thank you.
Page 1
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 17th May 17, 12:16 PM
    • 8,676 Posts
    • 45,709 Thanks
    • #2
    • 17th May 17, 12:16 PM
    • #2
    • 17th May 17, 12:16 PM
    The first and most obvious thing is to look at increasing your income wherever you can - even things like the survey sites might help to bring in a bit extra, and in your situation every little helps.

    I'm wondering whether you might have a financial hardship angle to getting them to freeze the charges - investigate Martin's guides over on the main site to see if there is anything in there, if you haven't already.

    Can you actually cover your outgoings on an annual basis (by which I mean including everything you spend in a year - so insurances etc that are renewed and paid annually as well as the routine monthly stuff) on the income you're on?

    On the job front - something worth trying is to identify companies locally in the field you want to work in, that you would want to work for, and approaching them directly with a short, immaculately presented, and concise CV, to enquire about any vacancies they might have.

    I suspect it would also be worth you putting together your SOA (Statement of affairs - link is in the "sticky" post at the top of the board) to see if there is anywhere you could make savings that you've not thought of. If you post it into this thread we'll be happy to take a look and see if we can help identify anything.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£944.19 (15/05/18)
    SOA Calculator for DFW newbies: SOA Calculator
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 17th May 17, 12:59 PM
    • 13,975 Posts
    • 13,249 Thanks
    • #3
    • 17th May 17, 12:59 PM
    • #3
    • 17th May 17, 12:59 PM
    Simply stop paying money into the account, eventually they will close it.

    The debt will end up with a debt collector, before been sold.

    Wait till it's sold, use the time to save up some money, use the money to offer a full and final settlement of the debt.

    If banks won't help, help yourself.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to Any views are mine and not the official line of

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Free Legal advice see :
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 17th May 17, 1:21 PM
    • 6,366 Posts
    • 13,009 Thanks
    • #4
    • 17th May 17, 1:21 PM
    • #4
    • 17th May 17, 1:21 PM
    I would treat it as a separate debt rather than your main account particularly if you have split with your husband and he is named on it. Open another account for your wages and resolve to put a certain amount in each month to cover the fees and a bit more. Even overpaying by a few £ each month with surveys or mystery shopping will bring the date forward for it to be cleared. When you have a full time job increase the monthly payment.

    Why did you get the overdraft? That is one of the most expensive ways of borrowing. If your ex moans point this out that you are paying £15 a month for it. Is it a fee paying account? That is 18% interest per annum.

    Alternatively do as sourcrates suggests and default on it. They may then reconsider with not reducing it.
    Last edited by enthusiasticsaver; 17-05-2017 at 1:23 PM.
    Debt free and mortgage free and early retiree. Living the dream

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to
  • National Debtline
    • #5
    • 17th May 17, 1:55 PM
    • #5
    • 17th May 17, 1:55 PM
    Hi PennyRose

    It sounds like you!!!8217;ve done well negotiating with your creditors but the overdraft is a sticking point. The first thing I would say is make sure you are no longer using the account. If you have any money paid into the account it is going to be swallowed up by the interest and charges, which is not affordable for you at the moment. Get yourself a basic bank account with any bank you do not already have debt with, and use that instead.

    Next ask the bank to freeze the account. They won!!!8217;t close it due to the overdraft, but they can at least freeze it so nothing goes in or out. Legally both you and your ex partner are liable for the overdraft as it is in joint names, so it is fair on both of you that the debt cannot be run up further.

    The overdraft is no different to a credit card or loan in that the bank does have the discretion to freeze the interest and charges. The best thing to do is complete a SOA, work out what you can afford to offer and send it to the bank with a request to freeze interest and charges.

    Bear in mind there may be other ways to deal with your overall debt situation and you can seek advice on those from one of the free debt advice agencies.

    We work as money advisers for National Debtline and have specific permission from MSE to post to try to help those in debt. Read more information on National Debtline in MSE's Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help guide. If you find you're struggling with debt and need further help try our online advice tool My Money Steps
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

791Posts Today

5,487Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • It's the start of mini MSE's half term. In order to be the best daddy possible, Im stopping work and going off line?

  • RT @shellsince1982: @MartinSLewis thanx to your email I have just saved myself £222 by taking a SIM only deal for £7.50 a month and keeping?

  • Today's Friday twitter poll: An important question, building on yesterday's important discussions: Which is the best bit of the pizza...

  • Follow Martin