Question

Hi, I have a £5000 overdraft limit and £2000 on a credit card. I’ve banked with NatWest since I was 12 (I’m now 43) when I was in my early 20’s I would receive letters telling me that my overdraft would be increased on numerous occasions. I never actually asked for it but at the time, being young and care free, I just accepted it. Eventually I had a 5k overdraft that I was pretty much up to the limit and paying fees on it. God knows how much in fees I’ve paid over the years (probably enough to buy a nice car!)

Is there any way I can wipe out this debt as it is causing me a lot of stress. I’m a single dad living on my own now with the burden of paying all the bills myself and also trying to raise 2 girls. Would you advise me to remortgage to pay off the debt as I have equity in my house.

Andros

Answer

Andros,

That is a long time to have banked with NatWest, and I would venture the fees you have paid for the overdraft have added up substantially.

You may have a couple of options to clear the overdraft, one being remortgaging if you have equity in your property. The issue with remortgaging is it should be a last resort, still an option, and may be the best one, but a last resort as you are then turning unsecured debt into secured debt.

You would need to weigh what your new mortgage payment would be and if you can easily afford that new payment. If so, then remortgaging is an option.

One thing to look at is how you incurred the £5,000 on the overdraft? If you were to remortgage and pay off the overdraft, and credit card, would you hit the overdraft again, or use the credit card and maintain a balance? If so, then you have not completely resolved the issue. You would just have a new mortgage payment and then take on other debt via the credit card or overdraft.

You could look into settling the overdraft for less than what you owe, however this will affect your credit and credit score. Short of just paying the overdraft off in full, your credit can be impacted.

When you mention the overdraft causing you stress, are you struggling with it to the point you may fall into arrears with other bills? If so, then if you can remortgage to clear it, and you will not be hitting the overdraft again, may be a good thing.

Let me know your thoughts on what I have mentioned, and we can look at this closer.

Regards,

Jon

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