How to Pay Off Your Overdraft Quickly

Methods for quickly eliminating your overdraft.

Updated: May 21, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

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In spite of the fact that overdrafts might provide temporary cash flow for budgeting purposes, they may come with high interest rates.

It gives you the freedom to temporarily run a negative balance on your checking account. But overdraft fees might add up rapidly if you don't have the funds to pay off your balance. It's a relief to know that you have choices for clearing your overdraft. Our guide goes into more detail.

What's the quickest way to clear my overdraft?

Learn how to swiftly repay your overdraft to get control over your short-term borrowing. These suggestions may help you better control your monthly expenditure if you find that you are always drawing from it.

Having to rely on your bank's overdraft feature on a regular basis is a stressful situation to be in. The sooner you are able to repay your overdraft, the sooner you can get your finances back on track after using it.

If you use your overdraft often each month, you may end up paying as much as 20% in interest and bank overdraft fees, so it's in your best interest to pay it off as soon as possible.

This may add up to a significant sum each year, which you might put into savings or use to treat yourself. You may keep yourself out of trouble by knowing how to avoid having to use your overdraft in the first place.

Below is a comprehensive tutorial on how to pay off your overdraft quickly.

Clear your overdraft the conventional way and/or alternative ways

It may seem obvious, but a monthly budget that includes overdraft repayment in digestible pieces can speed up your overdraft repayment. Although it will require effort on your part, it is doable and should be explored before more extreme steps are used.

1. Set a budget.

If you're serious about making the jump, the first step is to establish a realistic financial plan. In most circumstances, your outgoings will be more than your incomings, which is why you've probably utilised your overdraft in the first place, so it's crucial to figure out precisely what goes into and what comes out of your account each month.

Once you've made these first, courageous steps towards financial independence, you'll have a better notion of where you can make reductions in spending. Because of this, you may set aside money each month to go towards clearing your overdraft and its interest (APR).

Now, pay back a portion of the overdraft.

Once you're able to stick to a monthly budget without going over, you may begin chipping away at your overdraft debt.

Mini-goals, such as £50 to £100 every month, can help you keep on track. You may then see the gradual disappearance of your overdraft balance month after month.

2. Switch your overdraft.

Next, using your bank, switch to an overdraft that doesn't charge you any fees or interest.

Transferring a negative overdraft amount to a checking account without charging interest is possible. This will save you from having to pay interest or other fees to the bank on your overdraft while you work to pay it off.

Changing your bank account doesn't have to be a hassle; in fact, it might speed up the process of paying down your overdraft. The most important thing to check before opening a new bank account is whether or not the overdraft limit is high enough to cover your present amount.

Overdrafts may be reduced or eliminated entirely with the aid of switching incentives offered by certain banks. If you're interested in transferring banks, have a look at the current account comparison tables on our site.

If you find yourself being caught short every month by overdraft fees, interest, and other bank penalties, you may want to consider cancelling your overdraft. This will buy you some time to gather your thoughts, organise your funds, and create a manageable monthly budget.

If you find yourself tempted to utilise your overdraft, just go back to the fees and interest you racked up the last time you used it. Overdrafts are available in case of emergencies, but it is possible to get to a point where you no longer require one.

3. Consider using some of your savings.

Be very careful here, as your emergency savings should be kept for a rainy day, as per Dave Ramsey’s advice. Before your overdraft, interest, and bank fees take control of your life, you may want to tap into whatever savings you've accumulated.

Especially now, when interest rates on savings accounts are low, you could be better off using your money to pay down your debt.

While it's always best to put away money for a rainy day, if you're having a hard time getting out of your overdraft and feel like you're chasing your tail, it may be worthwhile to tap into your savings to make up the difference. Don't forget to reimburse yourself as soon as you can, and add interest if you want.

4. Use a credit card with no balance transfer fees.

You may save money on interest if you shift your overdraft to a credit card that doesn't charge any. During the interest-free period, all you have to do is pay off the amount on your credit card.

You'll have plenty of time to pay off your overdraft, and the best thing is that you won't have to pay any interest if you use a credit card that has an interest-free term of up to three years. However, before you begin asking questions, there are a few things you should know.

  1. First, you'll need to pay the 3 per cent or so in processing fees that the majority of 0% APR transfer credit cards charge.
  2. Interest is payable at the conclusion of the interest-free term if any funds remain on the credit after the end of the interest-free period has passed.
  3. Third, you must never fall behind on your minimum monthly payment.

5. Get a low-interest personal loan.

Taking out a low-interest personal loan might help you pay off your overdraft debt more quickly, particularly if you have a significant overdraft that has accrued a lot of interest and bank penalties.

Taking on more debt in order to pay off an overdraft is not something to be done lightly. Choosing the correct loan may help you reduce the amount you spend on overdraft fees and interest, so it's important to do your research before committing to this strategy.

6. Consult reliable friends and family members.

You may always turn to your loved ones for support and guidance if you're having trouble keeping up with your monthly overdraft payments.

While it may be difficult to discuss financial difficulties, it is often said that a problem shared is a problem halved. There are many individuals and organisations willing to provide a hand, so if you're feeling overwhelmed by your debt, don't hesitate to seek assistance.

Summary of what to expect…

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Related Guides:


If I go into overdraft, what happens if I can't pay it back?

What happens to my credit rating if I use my overdraft?

Where can I find a reputable debt counselling agency?

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