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Overdrafts explained

A short-term safety net

Discover how overdrafts work and how to stay on top of your finances.

What is an overdraft?

An overdraft is a way to borrow money through your bank account for a short time. This page will help you decide whether an overdraft is right for you.

  • Read a clear explanation of how overdrafts work in General information about overdrafts 
  • Work out the cost of being overdrawn with our calculator before applying
  • Use our eligibility tool to see how likely we are to offer you an overdraft limit
  • Get free tips to help you stay in control of your money
  • Find out where to get help if you’re worried about debt

What it would cost

Our annual interest rate is 35.0% (variable)

Representative example (for a Barclays Bank Account)

If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200, the annual rate of interest that we will charge you is 35.0% (variable), 35.0% APR Representative (variable).

Use our calculator to find out more about the cost of other products. Interest is charged on any arranged overdraft you use, up to your agreed limit. It is calculated for each day you are overdrawn and charged to your account on a monthly basis. If your arranged overdraft has an interest free amount, interest is calculated on the amount of overdraft you use above your interest free amount.

How does our overdraft compare?

A good way to compare the cost of our overdraft with other ways of borrowing is to look at the APR. The APR shows the cost of borrowing over a year. See ‘Important information’ for an explanation of how our rates work1.

How much does my overdraft cost in pounds and pence?

As an example, the interest cost of borrowing £500 is:

7 days

30 days

60 days




Costs will be lower if there is an interest free amount on the overdraft. 

You can use our calculator (link below) to work out how much your anticipated arranged overdraft borrowing would cost over different periods of up to 31 days.

Before you apply

Try the following tools and guides to help you decide if borrowing money through an overdraft is right for you.

Overdraft calculator

See how much it would cost to borrow over different periods of up to 31 days.

Are you eligible?

If you have a current account with us and you’re eligible to apply for an arranged overdraft online, you’ll see a provisional limit when you log in to the Barclays app or Online Banking2. If you’re considering opening a current account with us, you can use our tool to see how likely you are to be eligible for an overdraft.

Keep your debt affordable

Some people underestimate how long they’ll need an arranged overdraft for, so please think carefully. Borrow no more than you actually need and can afford to pay back. 

How to apply for an overdraft

All overdrafts, including any interest free amounts, are subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history. You must be 18 or over to apply and live in the UK. Overdrafts are repayable on demand. Not all customers can apply for an arranged overdraft in the Barclays app or online banking2 because certain restrictions apply.

New to Barclays?

You’ll need to apply for a current account before you can apply for an arranged overdraft.

Have a current account with us?

Check to see if you can apply for a new or increased overdraft in the Barclays app or Online Banking2. Alternatively you can apply at a branch or by calling us on 0345 734 53453.

Money management tools and tips

person looking at bills

Money management

If you’re concerned about your finances, we can help with budgeting tools and support.


We’ll register you for certain alerts so you can stay on top of your arranged overdraft to reduce or avoid interest charges.

man on laptop

Other ways to borrow

There might be other ways to borrow that are better for you than an overdraft, depending on your needs.


Barclays Money Mentors

Book a session with or Barclays Money Mentors to learn the basics of budgeting and make your day-to-day money management a little easier.