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Staying on top of a gambling addiction

What to do when chasing wins brings losses

Nigel’s finances spiralled out of control when he tried to gamble his way out of his debts – see how banks can help

This story shows typical customer situations and how banks can help. You’re not alone – we’re here to help you.

Nigel’s story

When Nigel first started betting and had a few big wins, his gambling was enjoyable and he felt the winning streak would last forever.

But when his luck ran out, he started chasing winners and increasing his bets to cover what he’d lost. He started taking days off work so he could gamble even more.

When Nigel started missing payments on his credit card and incurring fees, there was less money for his family each month and he felt guilty about putting them in a vulnerable position. After admitting the extent of his problem to his wife, Nigel got in touch with a local gambling addiction charity for help. Contacting his lenders was their main advice.

Nigel’s next steps

  • Nigel called his bank and explained his situation the best he could. Whilst he was embarrassed, banks, in most cases are more than prepared for it
  • Together, they created a repayment plan that Nigel could afford
  • Before he agreed to the repayment plan, Nigel would’ve been notified that it would be reported to the Credit Reference Agencies, and that it could affect his ability to get credit in the future. However, entering into the repayment plan would be better for Nigel than continuing to miss payments
  • Nigel was told he could access his credit card account online, so he could make payments to his account. To help Nigel manage his money better, as a Barclays customer, he could turn off gambling spending for his credit card as well as on his current account card
  • He could set his own limit for how much he can take out of a cash machine and freeze his card temporarily if he felt his spending was getting out of control
  • With his bank’s help, Nigel also set up current account Text Alerts for Nigel, which could help him manage his money better and avoid missing payments

Does your situation sound like Nigel’s?

Help’s always at hand.

As soon as you feel like you might go through some financial difficulties, give your bank a call – it could help make things better.

To prepare for the call, have some information about your financial situation ready, including your incomes and outgoings. You might be talking for a while, as your bank will want to understand your situation in detail, so make sure you set aside some time.

If you’re a Barclays customer, here are some numbers you can reach us from.

  • Mortgages – 0333 202 7492. Lines are open Monday to Thursday, 8am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 1pm
  • Barclaycard – 0800 046 8324. Lines are open every day from 9am to 9pm
  • Overdraft and Barclayloan – 0345 600 4545. Lines are open Monday to Sunday, 8am to 9pm
  • Premier – 08009 247 365. Lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Self-employed or have a business? Get some support.

Call charges

Free help and advice

If you’ve got more financial commitments than you can manage or have debt with other creditors, contact National Debtline or StepChange for free advice on the phone or online.

If you need to see somebody in person, contact Citizens Advice.

How close are you to a debt problem?

If you’re concerned about your finances, try StepChange Debt Charity’s 60-second debt test – a few simple questions will tell you if you need advice and where to get it.

These services can provide further help and support

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