How to cancel your direct debit or standing order

You can cancel a standing order or direct debit at any time. However, there is certain protocol you should follow before you do so. Find out more in our guide.

1 Write to your bank

You can cancel a standing order or direct debit at any point in your branch, over the phone or via secure online banking.

But, it's always best to confirm your instruction in writing via a letter or email so that you have a record of it.

Use our template letter to cancel a direct debit with your bank

2 Inform the recipient

Make sure you inform the person or company in receipt of the payment before you cancel it, as you could incur fees or penalties for non-payment.

Also, it's worth checking the terms and conditions of the business that you're dealing with, just in case you're still within the fixed term period of the contract, or in case a notice period has to be given.

3 Credit reports

Also, remember if you don’t pay a bill on time, this could affect your credit rating and will appear on your credit file.

Always confirm your cancellation in writing or email and be sure to make alternative arrangements for payment so as not to adversely affect your credit rating. 

4 Check your statements

As with all standing orders or direct debits, once you've cancelled always take care to check subsequent bank statements to ensure your instructions have been followed.

That way any error will be identified immediately and steps can be taken quickly to secure a refund.

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