our commitment to you

We're committed to treating customers sympathetically and positively when they’re experiencing difficulties and we'll do our best to help those who are having problems with their debts.

If you're worried you may be starting to have financial difficulties or are already having problems with your debt, it's important that you speak to us as soon as possible. We’ll do everything we can to help you solve your problems.

There are also a number of places that provide free and impartial debt advice. These organisations are not associated with cahoot and can help you to manage your creditors and debt problems.

We’ll help wherever we can

Many people face financial worries at some point in their lives. Getting help and advice sooner rather than later is important and can help make sure the problem doesn't get any worse. We're committed to treating our customers sympathetically when they're having difficulties, and we'll do our best to help you if you think you might be having financial problems.

In these pages you’ll find more information about how we and others, may be able to help if you have money worries.

Talk to us

if you’re not in arrears

If you’re up to date with all your payments to us and have a general enquiry, call us on 0800 5871 111.

if you are in arrears

If you have missed a payment or feel you may miss a payment, please contact our specialist teams on the numbers below. They will be able to help you with information on the next steps:

  Telephone number Opening times
Bank account 0800 587 2211

8:30am to 7pm Mon to Fri

9am to 1:30pm Sat

Credit card account 0800 389 7897

8:00am to 7pm Mon to Fri

9am to 1pm Sat

 

Before you call us please take a few minutes to write down exactly what you have coming in and out of your accounts each month. A budget planner can help with this. If you don’t have one to hand, you can find some in our ‘taking control’ section.

taking control

Review your budget


The first step in getting back on track is to recognise that you may be experiencing financial difficulties.

  • Find out how much money you have coming into your household and how much you have going out.
  • Make sure you can pay for essential items such as your mortgage or rent, council tax,  food and utility bills.
  • Take some time to list how much you owe and who you owe it to.
  • Use a budget planning tool like the ones below to calculate what you have left each month. 

Plan your budget

Having a budget is a positive step to help you control your money rather than allowing your money to control you.

Most financial advisers will tell you that it's important to spend time working out your monthly budget correctly. Take a look at the budget planner tools that can help you do this.

Printable budget planner: use the 'your personal budget planner' this is provided by the nationaldebtline.co.uk if you want to print it out.

If you're in debt, a breakdown of all your money coming in and how you spend it will help you to understand how much you can realistically afford to pay towards your debts.

Before you make any decisions about how you repay your creditors you need to be sure that you can afford any proposals you offer. Promising to make payments you can't afford can actually end up making matters worse.

Budget summary for creditors: nationaldebtline.co.uk provides a printable document to help you work out affordable offers to your creditors. It also helps you to identify any available spend for other things.

Next steps

When you've worked out your budget, you should get in touch with the people you owe money to (often known as creditors) to let them know how you propose to pay your debts. The most convenient way to do this is to phone them and offer a copy of your budget planner to support your proposals. Alternatively, independent debt advice agencies will do this for you. Please note that some of these organisations may make a charge for their services.

If you do have enough money to make your payments but sometimes find they're not being paid on the most suitable date or in the best way, it may be beneficial to contact the company to discuss options. Changing Direct Debit dates to when you're paid may often help.

It's also a good idea to check price comparison sites to see if you could save money on regular payments such as energy, broadband and insurance bills. And, in case you're entitled to benefits you're not claiming, take a look at the Department of Work and Pensions website.

If you're struggling to work out your budget, you can contact us directly for help and support. Check our 'Talk to us' section for more information. Our 'Independent advice' section also has contact details of useful organisations that may be able to help.

money management tools

Free account alerts

To help you manage your money, you can choose to receive an email, text message or both when certain activity has happened on your current account or credit card. Select as many alerts as you like.

You’ll be automatically registered to receive a credit card alert when nearing your credit limit to help you avoid fees, and we’ll send you other messages to notify you of certain activity on your account. These will be sent via email, text message, both or by letter and where not required for regulatory purposes, we’ll give you the option to opt out. You can opt out via Online banking or by calling us.

Personal overdrafts explained

An overdraft can give you a bit of extra money for unexpected times. However, it’s important to remember that we charge you to use it.

Here’s an example of how it works for a customer with a £1,000 Arranged Overdraft (your specific fees may vary). To see the fees related to your account, visit our rates and fees page.

how the fee works

On some accounts you may also be charged an Unpaid Transaction Fee if you make a payment that would take you into an Unarranged Overdraft:

did you know?

monthly fee cap: We normally cap the total amount of overdraft fees and interest you can incur in each monthly statement period.

From your first statement period on or after 10 July 2018, we will remove the existing overdraft fee cap of £95 per monthly statement period, which covers Arranged and Unarranged Overdraft fees. This will be replaced by a lower cap of £50 per monthly statement period and will cover Unarranged Overdraft fees only, including Unarranged Overdraft interest, the Unarranged Overdraft usage fee and Unpaid Transaction fees. This means you won’t pay more than £50 per month in Unarranged Overdraft fees. Arranged Overdraft interest fees are not changing.

free account alerts: You can set up an account alert to warn you when you don’t have enough money in your account to cover a payment. This will give you a chance to put money in your account before 4pm and avoid the fee.

Managing payments on your credit card

The best way to stay in control of your credit card payments is to set up a Direct Debit. You can choose to set up your Direct Debit through Online Banking or by contacting our customer services team.

for example, you can pay:

  • the full balance;
  • the minimum monthly payment; or
  • any fixed amount of your choice greater than your minimum payment

If you can afford to, you can set up a monthly fixed payment that is the same as or more than your current minimum payment. That way you’ll pay your balance off more quickly, as each month you’ll be making more than the minimum payment.

independent advice

Organisations that can help you

There are organisations that can help you with money worries as well as help you understand whether you’re entitled to more benefits or any other type of help. cahoot isn’t associated with these organisations. Please note that some of these organisations may make a charge for their services.

Organisation How can it help? Contact details
Business Debt Line If you're self employed, Business Debt Line can offer advice on managing your debts. 0800 197 6026
Citizen's Advice Bureau CAB helps with independent face-to-face advice. You can go into one of their offices and speak in confidence to an adviser or check out the numerous online guides. www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/
The Department of Work and Pensions Provides information on benefits you may be entitled to, including tax credits, state pension and support for mortgage interest. Dwp.gov.uk
Equifax Find out about your credit rating.  www.equifax.co.uk
Experian Find out about your credit rating.  www.experian.co.uk
Money Advice Service Support with managing your finances. Guides, calculators and advice by phone or webchat.

www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en

0800 138 7777

Mind Leading mental health charity for England and Wales which can provide help if you feel money worries are affecting your mental health. www.mind.org.uk
PayPlan Advice on long term debt solutions.

www.payplan.com

0800 280 2816