Santander Debt – A Guide To Managing Your Credit Card, Loan, Overdraft Or Mortgage Debt With Santander
Santander UK is large high street bank, a subsidiary of the Spanish Santander Group (Banco Santander). Santander UK was established in 2010 with a three-way merger of mutual building societies – Abbey National, Bradford & Bingley and Alliance & Leicester.
These rebranded to Santander UK, which now provides a comprehensive range of financial services and products. Santander provides credit cards, personal loans, overdrafts and mortgages, among other products.
Why Is Santander Contacting Me?
If you owe money on your Santander account, Santander will get in touch with you to find out why and discuss the options for repayment.
Can I Stop Santander Chasing Me?
Santander may contact you to talk to you about your debt, but they mustn’t harass you. If you are feeling hounded or need more time to get your financial situation in focus, you can ask for breathing space.
If you are unable to pay at the moment, or you are seeking advice on your debt from a third party, Santander can give you breathing space. They will give you up to 30 days to allow you to review your finances or get independent advice on your debt, during which time they will limit their contact with you to take the pressure off.
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You may be able to make a short-term payment arrangement with Santander to catch up on payments you have missed. You should only make an arrangement you are comfortable with and can afford, as you will be expected to honour the agreement.
How do I Know What Payment Plan I Can Afford?
Before entering into a payment arrangement with Santander, you need to work out what you can afford. You can do this with a simple budget – a list of all your income versus expenditure. This will show you what you have left each month (your disposable income) to put towards your debt.
What Will Happen If I Don’t Keep Up With Repayments?
If you make a payment plan, you’ll be expected to stick to it. If you don’t, and you haven’t got in touch with Santander to explain why and ask for your plan to continue, Santander will cancel your agreement. They may then ask you to make payment of your debt in full. Alternatively, they might default your account and take further action against you to recover the debt.
Banks And The Right To Set-Off
Occasionally banks use something called the right to set-off, which means if you bank with the same bank that your debts are with, they can take money from your current account to offset the amount you owe.
You will not receive advance warning if Santander plan to do this. Although it happens infrequently, it is a possibility. The easiest way to safeguard yourself (and your money) against setting-off is to keep your debts separate from your main bank account.
Having Difficulty Paying Your Mortgage?
If you are struggling financially and find yourself unable to afford your mortgage payments, you should get in touch with Santander immediately and seek professional debt advice. Mortgages are a priority debt – if you do not act, you could end up having your home repossessed.
Are You Overdrawn On Your Current Account?
If your account is overdrawn and you are regularly exceeding your limit and incurring fees, your debt could be getting out of control. You may be able to take some simple steps to take back control, for example by changing direct debit and standing order payment dates to coincide with money going into your account.
Are You Struggling To Pay Your Credit Card?
Credit cards typically charge high interest, so if you owe money and are only managing to pay the minimum payment, your debt will take a long time to clear and you will be paying a lot in interest. If you miss the minimum payment, you will also incur late payment charges.
If you have missed a payment, or are going to miss one, you should get in touch with Santander as soon as possible to see if you can come to a short-term arrangement until you get back on track.
Are You Unable To Pay Your Unsecured Personal Loan?
If you have missed a loan payment and can’t afford to pay the amount outstanding, let Santander know. You may be able to arrange a payment plan to catch up. Tell Santander if you are seeking professional debt advice so they can work with you or your third party debt advisor. In some circumstances, Santander may be able to reduce your monthly payments by refinancing your loan.
If you are unhappy with the way Santander have handled your case, you can make a complaint in writing and send it to:
Complaints, Santander UK plc, PO Box 1125, Bradford, BD1 9PG.
If you don’t agree with Santander’s resolution and would like to take your complaint further, you can refer it to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, London, E14 9SR.
A basic bank account has the main features of a standard bank account, such as the ability to make and receive payments, pay direct debits, withdraw cash etc, but without an overdraft facility.
Even if your credit rating is affected by debt, you should be eligible for a basic bank account. Although banks are not obliged to give you an account, they cannot use your credit rating as a reason to deny you a basic bank account.
If you are unable to get your finances back under control, or you don’t take steps to repay the money you owe, you may lose access to your account.
If you have entered into a payment arrangement, you will usually be expected to honour it. However, we all experience unforeseen circumstances sometimes, so if you’ve had a change of circumstances you should discuss this with Santander. You may be able to reduce your monthly payments further, if appropriate.