The Starling overdraft: Designed to put you in control header image

A Starling overdraft can act as a short-term safety net for eligible personal customers. If you don’t have enough money in your account to cover an essential upcoming payment, or have experienced a sudden drop in your income, our flexible overdraft can help.

How does the Starling overdraft help put me in control?

We offer flexible overdrafts with some of the most competitive interest rates on the market. Depending on an eligibility check, we’ll offer you an interest rate of 15%, 25% or 35% EAR (Equivalent Annual Rate). This compares with 39.9% at most other banks at the time of writing.

We also offer tools to help you manage your money, so, if you don’t have sufficient funds to cover a scheduled payment, we send you alerts so that you can fund your account. 

If you do dip into your arranged overdraft, we’ll send you another message to notify you. We also make it easy to see your overdraft fees on one simple screen.

Once your overdraft is approved, you can use the in-app slider feature to manage and set the amount you need within that limit. For example, if we offer you a £1,000 overdraft, you could bring this limit down to £500 using our slider. If you later find that you need £1,000, you can do so quickly through the slider.

Adjust your overdraft limit with your overdraft slider in app

How do I find out if I’m eligible?

Once you’ve applied for a Starling personal account and it’s been verified and opened, you can apply for an overdraft via the app by tapping ‘Manage Overdraft’ in the menu. 

After we’ve run an eligibility check and looked through a few details, we’ll tell you if you’re eligible for an overdraft, and the potential amount and the interest rate you would pay. You can then accept or decline. 

If you decline your overdraft offer, but later find you need one, you can re-apply, provided 60 days have passed since your last check. Your potential interest rate and overdraft limit may have changed since your initial offer. The offer details are based on a creditworthiness assessment, which takes into consideration your credit score.

How does Starling check if I’m eligible?

Our team runs a hard credit check, which may impact your credit score. The check will be recorded on your credit report.

For those asking to increase the limit of their existing Starling overdraft, we run a soft credit check - the type that does not usually impact your credit score.

Is there anything else I should know about?

Starling charges you the agreed interest rate on the money you’ve withdrawn through your overdraft. We won’t charge you for going into your overdraft if there are sufficient funds stashed away in the Spaces section of the app. For example, if you have a £2,000 overdraft with a zero balance on your account but £500 in your Spaces, no interest would be charged until you withdrew more than £500 of your overdraft.

If you’ve not got enough money in your account to cover a payment, we’ll decline the transaction. Unlike many other banks, we don’t charge for declined transactions. On the rare occasions when you might go into an unauthorised overdraft (for example when making an offline transaction, such as on London underground or if the final payment amount requested by a merchant exceeds the initial authorisation) we will not charge one-time fees or interest in these situations, although it’s still important that you pay off the amount to avoid going into arrears.

You can see a breakdown of all your fees in the overdraft screen of your app. More pricing information is available on our overdraft pages.

At any time, we may end an overdraft facility or reduce the limit, or we may require repayment of all amounts owed. We will always try to give advance notice if we plan to do any of these. You can also ask to remove your overdraft, provided it’s been cleared and any amounts owing repaid, by contacting Customer Service.

What should I do if I’m struggling to pay it off?

If you’re finding it difficult to pay back your overdraft, remember that you're not alone. If you feel able, try creating a budget so that you can build overdraft repayments into your money plan. 

There are places to turn if you need help, including UK organisations and charities dedicated to supporting people with debt, such as StepChange and Money Advice Service, as well as Starling’s Specialist Support Team.

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