Martin Lewis issues warning on £500 interest free overdrafts – ‘tailored support!’

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Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert, is well-known for offering money-saving tips and tricks to people who are hoping to save money. The financial journalist uses his various platforms to provide Britons with the latest information which could help their finances. His assistance has been particularly invaluable amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, and the financial difficulties which have ensued for many as a result.

Martin today appeared on ITV’s This Morning and answered a number of questions relating to people’s money worries.

One Briton raised an issue she had been having with her finances, due to the effects of the pandemic.

Martin was able to provide advice on interest-free overdrafts, and tailored support.

The woman had been forced to close her business a number of times throughout the lockdown.

However, due to the fact she is in Tier Three, she is still unable to open her pilates studio.

Previously, during the first lockdown, she was able to gain a £500 interest-free overdraft from her bank, however, it then refused to extend this support any further.

She had called in to ask Martin what her options now are, and how she might be able to get financial help during this difficult time.

Martin offered her his guidance on how she, and many others in a similar position with their overdraft, can approach the issue.

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While payment holidays have been extended, Martin warned there has been no form of support relating to overdrafts.

The £500 interest free overdraft many banks provided during the first lockdown has now all but vanished.

This means many will be left in a more complicated situation when it comes to approaching an overdraft.

Nevertheless, this does not have to be the end of the road for people when it comes to a challenging financial situation.

Martin explained that now, banks are offering help in the form of ’tailored support’.

This means they are now examining individuals’ finances on a case by case basis, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

He encouraged those struggling with their overdraft to approach their bank to ask for this form of support.

This is because support is no longer automatic, and will involve a conversation with financial services.

However, under Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules, banks are obliged to help their customers in some way if they are approached explaining financial difficulties.

Martin added: “A blanket ‘no’ from your bank is simply not good enough.”

If having trouble with a bank, Martin said Britons can instead approach the Financial Ombudsman.

By doing so, they may be able to obtain emergency help and intervention processed as quickly as possible to assist those in financial straits. 

Some banks may be willing to extend an interest-free buffer, however, this is likely to vary depending on providers.

However, overdraft rates for some facilities can be high – ranging from 19 percent to 40 percent – so it is important to take action.

Martin Lewis is the Founder and Chair of To join the 13 million people who get his free Money Tips weekly email, go to

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