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Still a Halifax customer? 8 things you should know

Still a Halifax customer? 8 things you should know

Halifax isn't going bust, it says it's reshaping its business to reflect the difficult economic times. To Irish customers, this means it's withdrawing, shutting all its branches, closing accounts and pulling out of Ireland. By June 18th, credit cards will stop working, current accounts will bounce and finally by June 23rd, all branches will be closed.

If you're a Halifax customer we're sure you know this and you've probably made arrangements to move your accounts. But for those who haven't, there's still time and we hope this list will help.

1. Current accounts will stop working on Friday June 18th

If you haven't switched your account by then, your salary will bounce back to your employer, your direct debits will stop working and you won't be able to use your cheques and cards. The good news is that most Irish banks will be happy to take you on as a new customer. It can take 10 business days to switch an account, so if you haven't switched already, the time to take action is now. Just choose a new bank and current account and get the ball rolling as soon as possible. bonkers.ie can help you find the account that best suits your needs.

Compare Current Accounts

2. Irish Banking Federation's Personal Account Switching Code

Most people are reluctant to switch current accounts because so many essentials are tied up in them. Salary, mortgage and rent payments, utility payments and even our savings go in and out every month. Fear that something will go wrong or not get paid stops most of us from considering another bank.

Unfortunately Halifax current account customers have no choice but the good news is that it's not nearly as tough as people think. In 2005 the banks got together and decided to make it easier for customers to move from one bank to another. They'll do almost everything for you, from moving over direct debits and payments, to helping make sure your salary finds its way to your new account. Just choose a new bank and ask about the switching code.

Halifax isn't going bust, it says it's reshaping its business to reflect the difficult economic times. To Irish customers, this means it's withdrawing, shutting all its branches, closing accounts and pulling out of Ireland. By June 18th, credit cards will stop working, current accounts will bounce and finally by June 23rd, all branches will be closed.

If you're a Halifax customer we're sure you know this and you've probably made arrangements to move your accounts. But for those who haven't, there's still time and we hope this list will help.

3. Overdrafts

If you have an overdraft that you can't pay off before June 18th, you should go to your branch as soon as possible or call Halifax at 1890 818 181. They may be able to arrange a personal loan for the amount of your overdraft. The terms are pretty good: 10% APR on the outstanding amount for up to 5 years and no early repayment penalty. However, you may want to consider a local loan serviced within Ireland. You can compare personal loans on bonkers.ie

Compare Personal Loans

4. Credit Cards

Just like your current account, your Halifax credit card will stop working on June 18th and you won't be able to buy anything, book anything or order anything online. Halifax wants you pay off your card or transfer your balance to a new one. Although new credit cards are hard to come by and approval rates are as low as 40%, it's still worth trying for a new card. If you're approved, at least you'll have a credit card for emergencies, bookings and online purchases.

Compare Credit Cards

5. If you can't pay off your credit card balance

If you can't pay off your credit card balance before June 18th, Halifax have an option where you can go on a payment plan that's just like a personal loan. They'll charge you 10% interest and you'll pay 3% of your starting balance every month until it is paid off. For example, if you have the national average credit card balance of €1300 euros, you'll pay Halifax €39 a month for 40 months and give them €229 in interest. It's not a bad deal, but you won't have a credit card you can use.

If your credit is good, you can do better by transferring your balance to another card. It'll cost you less and take less time to pay off than the Halifax deal. The chart below shows some of the other cards in the market and how much they will save you over staying with Halifax. And of course, you'll have a credit card you can actually use. The below chart should be helpful:

6. Branches

There are 44 Halifax branches across the country. 21 of them will close on Friday 18th June and 23 will close on Wednesday 23rd June. You can check when your branch closes on the Halifax website. Any branch business that needs to be taken care of should be done as soon as possible.

7. Savings

Most Halifax savings accounts will need to be closed by June 18th, however Fixed Rate Saver Account holders can leave their accounts open until they mature and then withdraw the funds. The original terms and interest rates will still apply. If you would like to withdraw your funds before they mature, Halifax will let you do this, just talk to a branch or call the customer service centre at 1890 818 181.

If you are taking your funds out of Halifax, there are excellent options available for all types of savers and you can compare them and find the best home for your money through bonkers.ie

Compare Savings Accounts

8. Personal Loans

If you have a personal loan with Halifax you can keep it open and make payments as usual. You can also pay it off early but you may incur a penalty for doing so. You will probably need to change the direct debit instruction though. You can do this by downloading a direct debit instruction form from the Halifax website and sending it to them at their PO Box 40, Dundalk, Co Louth address. If you have any questions, you should call them directly on 1890 818 181.

Best of luck to all Halifax customers on finding a new home for your banking needs!


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