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Bank/student overdraft: sudden charges/whining?

Discussion in 'General' started by Khensu, 6 Sep 2008.

  1. Khensu

    Khensu likes to touch your special places

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    Right, here's the story:

    my girlfriend went to university last year (October 2007 - Mayish 2008). She has a student account with NatWest, who said it would be interest-free overdraft as student life can be hard and such.

    Anyway, yesterday she was suddenly charged £30 on her overdraft of £1250 (max'ed out). She'd "loaned" (as if she'll ever get it back) more than half of that amount to her parents/sisters, thinking that - seeing as she she was told it was interest-free - it would be fairly easy to pay it back once she got a job after her first year at university.
    She didn't get a job, as employers like experience more than personality etc etc (whatever the reason, she definitely tried and is trying). And I lost mine (strangely enough, through no fault of my own).

    So basically, I am looking for people with advice/experience in this matter. NatWest said she needs to pay "something" into the account (but we have nothing - quite literally) "today" (Thursday) - when she said she couldn't, there was no other answer or advice from the bank's side. They said they will take her to court if she doesn't pay up.

    She asked what would happen if she paid half of it (not that she/we can): they said "it would be beneficial". Right... - so we're pretty much mentally preparing for court now. Like I said, any advice/experience.... much appreciated.

    I've heard of debt/court stories where there was a payment plan decided between the "defendant", the court and the bank/creditor - I'm hoping this will be the same kind of court case.

    But, for the third time, I'm looking for as much advice and help as possible (apart from calling the Citizens' Advice Bureau, as that will happen on Monday). I realise she went "wrong", but as most of it went to her fairly bullying/guilt-tripping family I can't blame her. I know it's the bank's (well, non-existant, really) money, but still... I am angry at the bank too.

    So... anyone ever been taken to court by a bank? Any debt issues resolved? Spill it out and make us feel better before we end up in a murder-suicide; I'd be post-mortumally pissed off if I ended up on the front page of The Sun!
     
  2. Bogomip

    Bogomip ... Yo Momma

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    If she is a continuing student next year thats very odd. Most people I know (including me) use the free overdraft facility of banks regularly - my flatmate too, who is with natwest... Are you sure they understand she is going back to uni ?
     
  3. The_Beast

    The_Beast I like wood ಠ_ಠ

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    Man that sucks

    if I overdraft on my checking they'll take it from my savings
     
  4. overdosedelusion

    overdosedelusion I mostly come at night, mostly..

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    It most certainly be a repayment plan, with interest to cover the banks "loss". You/She will meet them and there will be representative of the court there to make sure both sides are equally represented.
     
  5. Khensu

    Khensu likes to touch your special places

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    Sorry, forgot to specify that she is not attending university this year. She got so fed up with being patronised/not really learning anything (the latter being the really sad bit) that she preferred to get "work experience" instead of education - unfortunately, employers didn't really agree. God forbid somebody without a degree entering the job market.

    Anyhow, thanks for the replies so far - looking forward to some more once the UK wakes up! :)
     
  6. Amon

    Amon inch-perfect

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    Can you use the court appearance as an opportunity to file an appeal? Loaning out loaned money to family is a no-no, best get some of that back a.s.a.p. Do you have reliable friends who can spare the pocket change to dampen your case and buy some time?
     
  7. Khensu

    Khensu likes to touch your special places

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    No and no - no friends to give us cash (and we'd pretty much would have to be facing prison to ask others for money); and loaning to family, well... she and me/her and I (I can never get that right) have very differing views of "family" and "owing" to them - I feel like I owe nothing to my parents. They chose to bring me into this world, and I share de Sade's views on that: if I feel anything towards them, it should be hate. Fortunately for me/them, I feel absolutely nothing towards my parents.

    She, however, feels something. Somehow they - and the past few months have definitely shown they are money-grabbers, prior "relationship" (i.e. daughter) or not - managed to talk/force/guilt-trip her into giving them well over £500, which was a combination of asking and blatantly stealing (!). But, "loans" between parents and kids can't really be sorted in court, especially as (in this case) there is no hard proof. As far as the court is concerned, the daughter (my girlfriend) might as well have paid that electricity bill voluntarily, as well as taking out an extra £200 or so to spend on shiny things for herself. The fact that she's saying her dad did it will be of no interest to the court, even though I can pretty much prove he's a c*ck.

    She feels very stupid and f'd over - by her own parents/family! - about that £500+... but there's nothing we can do about it. It's gone, and it's become increasingly clear that they have no intention of even acknowledging that that money was ever given to them (and apart from the financial woes, there's the personal pain - imagine your parents pretty much preferring quick cash over you; as harsh as it sounds that's how it feels to her/us). So we're (she, but of course I'm not walking out on this) stuck with the bill, I'm afraid. All we can do is take revenge when they [the parents] need help in their old age, I guess, though I'm sure that at that time guilt will prevail (again).
     
  8. atanum141

    atanum141 I fapped to your post!

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    I got shafted twice by HSBC for going a few pounds over my Graduate Account Overdraft limit. £150 a time. ****ers.

    Then i decided i'd pay EVERYTHING off in regards to borrowing from the bank. I paid it all off inc my credit card.
     
  9. ch424

    ch424 Design Warrior

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    Hey, sorry to hear this, being in debt, and knowing the bank are going to make it worse for you must be horrible. It is in NatWest's terms and conditions that they can change their mind whenever they want, the limit for everybody being that you have to pay it back within a year of leaving uni.
    This happened to a friend as well (who is still at uni): he organised and took the £1250 overdraft, then got a letter from NatWest a few months later saying "we want our money back." What he did was put £120 in, then waited a couple of days, and took it out again. He's not heard from them since, and everything is now fine. I hope that would work for you too - at least to get her some time to raise some more money.
     
  10. cpu121

    cpu121 What's a Dremel?

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    Have you looked into whether these charges are allowed? Trading Standards are taking the banks to court over alledgedly unlawful bank charges. Banks are only allowed to charge the cost of administration of you being overdrawn (i.e. only a few pence); penalty charges are illegal. This doesn't include interest rates.

    If she's no longer a student, I suspect Natwest will change here account to a regular one and start charging interest on the overdraft like normal.

    Try http://www.moneysavingexpert.com and http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/ for debt advice.
     
  11. RTT

    RTT #parp

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    Start ebaying your stuff if you literally have nothing. Try and find something to pay somehow, it really isn't worth dinging her credit record or worse.

    Yes they are allowed because when you open an account you agree to them, but you can call into question how reasonable they are.
    I recently reclaimed some overdraft charges to the tune of £100, but only because in most cases, if it's your first time and you're a "good customer" (which can mean varying things...), the bank will let you off. Charges are currently being reviewed in the High Court, as yet (as far as I'm aware) there has not yet been a conclusion (and if there has, nothing has been brought into effect yet, again as far as i'm aware).

    The reason she got stung for £30 was because she's no longer in education. Student interest free thingies are only interest free while you are a student. Once you're no longer a student the charges will start to roll in.

    The situation sucks... but I have to wonder about someone who'd ever think it was a good idea to loan out money "because it was interest free" and "because it'd be easy to get a job and pay it back" :eyebrow: Lesson learnt I hope :(
     
  12. alastor

    alastor Minimodder

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    Bingo, that's exactly why this has happened. As above really, either sell some stuff or take any job to try and scrape some money together to start paying it back, or go to court and sort out some sort of repayment plan. Guess there isn't much chance of help from the family?

    Good luck
     
  13. Ramble

    Ramble Ginger Nut

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    Read the contract.
    Natwest only allow 0% overdraft if you have your student loan or any other kind of regular money flowing into the account. Since she's not at uni now I'll guess she's not getting the loan and hence she now has to pay interest.
     
  14. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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    I've gotta say, Natwest have been really good to me.

    I had their student account, which initially gave me £1250 of interest free overdraft, which I increased to £2000 by 5th year.

    I did go over the limit a couple of times, but they only charged me interest (which on a couple of quid for a couple of days, is nothing), no fee.

    Now I'm finished uni they've put me onto a Graduate account, so I get £2000 overdraft this year, £1000 next year, then £500 the following year.

    They never asked me anything about my course/job plans, though presumably were keeping an eye on it to watch if money was going in.


    I can understand why Natwest want their money back, though. If you're not on the path to a qualification (to earn you (them) more money) or earning any money yourself, then why would a bank want to deal with you?
     
  15. Highland3r

    Highland3r Minimodder

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    Natwest have always been good for me regarding charges n things, if you speak to them and show some willing then they're pretty good.
    Is there no way u can scrape together 30 quid just to show willing to pay the fee's on the account. Since you lent money to friends etc can none of them help you out?
     
  16. Matticus

    Matticus ...

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    Yes the interest free overdraft only applies while you are in education, as has been said.

    You could argue that the money was taken out and used while at uni and no intention was made to leave uni at the time, obviously being a student she couldn't get together the money in time to pay it off before/after she left.

    The best thing you can do is to go into the local branch of NatWest, preferably the one in which she took out the account and explain the situation to the manager, don't say about loaning any money just say it was used for living and quitting uni was not planned so it was unavoidable. I am sure that if the manager is a reasonable chap then he can understand the issue, in a lot of cases they can wave the overdraft charge if there is some agreement that the money will be paid by X date, a similar thing happened to my friend. He wasn't a student but he had gone very overdrawn due to a payment issue at work, and they had tried to charge him, but after explaining the situation they waved the charge and he was able to pay the money in next month. Now not quite the same, but he couldn't get this result on the phone, only when he went in did they sort it.

    Also your other option is to look at an egg card, and transfer the overdraft. There is a 3% charge, but you have more time to pay it off

    http://new.egg.com/visitor/0,,3_84106--View_1763,00.html
     
  17. freedom810

    freedom810 Minimodder

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    This maybe a real stupid suggestion and im young compared to you all so bare with me.
    Isnt there cards out there which allow you 0% intrest for a whole year for the first year?
    If so, can you not open one of those pay the debt off with natwest and that gives you more time to pay off the 0% intrest card??
    Just an idea, good luck to you though dude, money troubles suck :(
     
  18. Stuey

    Stuey You will be defenestrated!

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    Is her account overdraft free, or interest-free overdraft? If it's interest-free overdraft, then it's not against the rules for them to charge overdraft fees.

    If she has a credit card, she could take out a "cash advance" although that's not usually the best path since interest rates on such transactions are enormous.

    Just to clairfy, is this a bank account, or a credit card?
     
  19. Kurayamino

    Kurayamino As long as the Raven flies

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    Hmm, have you both tried sitting down and explaining to her parents the situation you are now in because of a good will gesture? Also unless your being really picky about employment then it shouldn't be to hard to find a job, since it looks like your going to have to make an attempt at paying it off even if your going to court they're still be charging you interest on this in the mean time. Many places are starting to take on staff for Christmas and I don't mean to sound rude but neither of you are in a situation where you can afford to be picky about what job you actually do. Just an idea, we've all been in situations like this. I know I have and had to take any job because I was desperate for the money, it does suck but it's the only option if you want to eat as well!
     
  20. PQuiff

    PQuiff What's a Dremel?

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    First off i wouldnt worry to much, something happened like this to me. I had a full student over draft with the HSBC and once i graduated i think i had an extra year of no interest.

    I couldn't pay it needless to say so i started getting the demanding letters.

    1st thing to do is realise that you will have to start paying something back(unless u want to declaire yourself bankrupt) and thats a whole different story.

    2nd GO into your local natwest and arrange an appointment with a financial adviser, AND if possible speak to the manager first.Do this in person. NOT over the phone. I manages to arrange paying off my overdraft with a 10 quid a week promise. Pay what you can afford. YOU CANNOT default on this so make sure its somethign you can afford.

    3rd learn and dont borrow money again. Its a hard thing to do. The bank keeps offering me credit cards. Which you really should stay away from. It gets so that you have many cards shuffling the balance around for the 0% intro offers

    Goodluck
     

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