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Do I really need an overdraft?

Many people in the UK will have access to "interest-free" overdrafts for which they may be charged a small administration fee on a monthly basis. However, do we really need an overdraft or is it simply a long-term extension of our own credit facilities?

The ideal of an overdraft should simply be access to emergency credit at very short notice. However, it can be very easy to fall into the trap of accumulating your overdraft facility with your income on a monthly basis to arrive at "accessible credit limits". This can often lead to situations where we fall into our overdraft facility earlier and earlier each month which can often lead to extended overdraft facilities which are often more expensive and attract higher interest rates.

Even an interest-free overdraft facility, although often very useful at the time, can be the first step towards more debt and more charges in the future. We all need to be vigilant and keep within our budgets and not automatically assume that our overdraft facilities are part of our "everyday budget". It is easy to suggest that a £100 overdraft is simple to pay back but this could become £200, £300, etc and the situation can easily get out of control.

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