Is it possible to open a new bank account with an existing overdraft?




Is it possible to open a new bank account with an existing overdraft?

Summary of the article

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An unexpected expense, a miscalculation, or a delayed salary payment can quickly lead to a bank overdraft situation. Whatever the cause, this can raise numerous questions, especially regarding the possibility of opening another bank account. If you find yourself in such a predicament, here are several insights and tips to help you manage and plan your financial future.

What is an overdraft?

An overdraft occurs when your account balance drops below zero, resulting in a negative balance. This means you have spent more funds than were available in your account.

There are two types of overdrafts: authorised and unauthorised.

Authorised or arranged overdraft

Banks may authorise an overdraft, often as part of a pre-arranged agreement, which sets a limit on the amount you can "borrow" beyond your account balance. This essentially functions like a loan and incurs costs.

Unauthorised or unarranged overdraft

This situation arises when you exceed the limit or duration of an overdraft authorised by your bank, or when your bank does not permit overdrafts at all.

Understanding the costs involved

Both types of overdrafts incur fees, such as surcharges or debit interest, similar to those associated with a loan. Additionally, you might face an intervention fee charged by your bank for each transaction that causes an account irregularity, like surpassing the authorised overdraft limit or making a direct debit without sufficient funds.

Legally, an overdraft cannot last more than three months. After this period, your bank is required to offer you a consumer credit option valid for 30 days.

Can you open a new account if you're overdrawn?

A bank is a business like any other. As a consumer, you may find yourself dissatisfied with their service and want to seek out alternatives. But can you open an account elsewhere with an overdraft?

Yes, you can open a new account at a different bank even if your current account is overdrawn. However, you cannot close the overdrawn account until the outstanding balance is fully repaid. Delaying payment can increase your charges and, if the overdraft persists, risk registration with credit oversight agencies like the Banque de France.

If you want to open an account at another bank, there are a number of factors that can influence whether your application is accepted:

Your financial history

Some banks will review your financial history, including any overdrafts. If deemed too risky, they may deny your application.

Bank selection 

Not all banks have the same criteria for opening an account.  Some might be more lenient towards customers with current overdrafts, while others are stricter.

Account type

Basic accounts with no overdraft facilities or pre-set spending limits might be easier to secure than those offering credit facilities or arranged overdrafts.

At Sogexia, even if you are overdrawn or listed with the Banque de France or on the FICP register, you can open an account. Our accounts do not permit overdrafts, allowing you to manage your finances without fear of additional charges and offering services tailored to your needs.

Advice for opening a new account with an overdraft

Being overdrawn or restricted from banking can be daunting, but it should not prevent you from managing your finances. Opening a new account is possible, with the right approach and by taking certain key factors into account.

By being upfront about your financial situation and understanding the causes of your overdraft, you can better prepare for the future. Choosing the right institution and managing your finances wisely can help you navigate through financial challenges.

Take the time to explore different banks and their offerings, and consider alternatives that may not require an overdraft. With the right approach,

By keeping these tips in mind, you can make informed decisions about your financial wellbeing, even when facing an overdraft situation.