Overdrafts are a feature that lets you keep spending money even when your bank account's balance is below zero. They can:

  • Act as a buffer if you accidentally overspend

  • Let you borrow money in the short term

  • Cover an emergency payment

This comparison includes every current account in the UK that offers an interest free overdraft. To find the best one, compare:

How much you can borrow for free

The accounts in this comparison offer either:

  • A free overdraft up to a certain limit, e.g. 500

  • A buffer, which is a small free overdraft, usually with a limit of 5 to 25

If you spend more than these amounts, you have to pay to use the overdraft.

How much does this cost?

Each bank account comes with different costs, which can include:

  • Interest charged on the amount you have borrowed

  • A fee charged daily, weekly or monthly until you pay back your overdraft

Check the interest rate and any fees charged to work out how much it costs to use each account's overdraft.

The overdraft limit

When you open an account, your bank confirms your overdraft's limit, which is the maximum you can owe on it. If you had a limit of 1,000, you could not spend more than this without paying some of it back first.

Some banks decide on your overdraft limit after they have looked at your credit record and income. This helps them decide how much you could afford to pay back.

Other accounts come with a standard overdraft limit like 500. When you apply, the bank checks your income and credit record to decide if you can afford the overdraft they offer.

If you go over your planned overdraft limit, some accounts allow you to keep spending, which is called an unarranged overdraft. However, the charges and interest rate usually increase significantly.

What else you need from the account

Work out what features you need from your bank as well as the overdraft, including:

  • Online banking

  • A cheque book

  • A nearby branch you can visit

When you have decided what you want, choose an account that offers everything you need and an overdraft that is large enough.

Overdraft bank accounts FAQs

Q

How do I keep track of my overdraft?

A

Check your balance online, with your bank's app, at an ATM or by asking your bank. You can also set up text message or email alerts to track your balance.

Q

How much can my bank charge me for using my overdraft?

A

If your bank charges a daily fee, they may set a cap on the total amount they charge you each month.

Q

When will I find out my overdraft limit?

A

Banks usually tell you when they accept your application and they have run a credit check. Some confirm it separately a few days after.

Q

How can I pay off my overdraft?

A

By paying money into your account. Here are other ways to clear your overdraft like switching your account or using a money transfer credit card.

Q

Can I switch my bank account if I am overdrawn?

A

If your new bank can offer you an overdraft for the same amount you owe to your current bank, you could switch your account and overdraft to them.

Q

Can students get an overdraft?

A

Yes, most student accounts include an interest free overdraft. Compare student bank accounts here.

Q

Could I lose my overdraft?

A

If you regularly go over its limit, your bank could withdraw your overdraft. You would have to pay back what you owe plus any fees and interest.

About our current accounts comparison

Q

Who do we include in this comparison?

A

We include every personal current account in the UK. They are all regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Here is more information about how our website works.

Q

How do we make money from our comparison?

A

We have commercial agreements with some of the companies in this comparison and get paid commission if we help you take out one of their products or services. Find out more here.

You do not pay any extra and the deal you get is not affected.