Use Goals as funding backup


My card declined last night due to insufficient funds (my fault - I forgot to move money across from my goals).

TL;DR: Post decline, my friend was stuck in a taxi with an angry driver until the fare was paid. As the journey was linked to my card, I had to make a phone call to pay over the phone while she waited. This took 20 whole minutes. So embarrassing.

Anyhoo, to ease any future humiliation, it would be great if I could apply a setting that allows a goal to act as a backup when my main account has insufficient funds. :sweat_smile:


Create small overdraft is the only thing you can do just now. That is offset against your goals and you won’t be charged while still in overall credit.

Granted some may not want to or be able to have an overdraft.


That is extremely helpful! I had no idea you could do that. I will apply the overdraft now knowing I won’t be charged if the same happens again. Many thanks!


the best part of Starling’s overdraft is that it’s free if you have the money on goals


This should be done in a more user friendly way.

I shouldn’t have to apply for an overdraft and have the credit check for it. If I have money in my goals - it should automatically let me use it rather than have declines when I hit a zero balance. Even if it does it with an automatic overdraft of the amount in your goals with no application process or credit check.

I’d say most people will want this to happen rather than declines and applying for overdrafts


Why should Starling take on the risk, when ensuring you have sufficient money in the main account would give the same result?

If you want a formal agreement with the bank that they will pick up the shortfall when you have overlooked your balance, then go though the formal process, including the checks Starling will (obviously) want to carry out, and markers they will want to place on your credit file telling other lenders you’ve entered into such an arrangement. That is, after all, the whole point of the credit checks.


They don’t take on any risk. The money is in my account. It is under a goal - but the payment is declined.


Every customer is a ‘risk’, even those with £100,000 in the bank.

But you avoid the main point: If you want Starling to guarantee payments via a line of credit, then you need a formal agreement with them, and that includes a mark on the file. It’s called responsible lending.


Were it in any other bank and you move it to their instant access savings account or a second current account you would face the same problem. If it is not in your main account the transaction will be rejected, despite theoretically you having enough money in that institution to cover it. So I don’t see Starling being any different in this regard


This is good to know. I’d assumed that since the goals were just a label on a part of my account balance, they’d automatically get raided if necessary to make a payment. I don’t want or need an overdraft - I have a good positive balance overall - I just want to be sure that if I make a payment, it will reliably happen without embarrassing or expensive declines.


I think the OP’s comment is useful. There must be many of us who have not moved money out of Goals in time.

Perhaps being able to toggle a setting for each goal to allow it to be used if main balance insufficient or not, but the easiest way of doing so may be to just designate one Goal for that purpose, as otherwise some really elaborate equation would be needed to decide which Goal it comes from.


Sorry @MIROW, but you have missed the point. Gaols are different. A Savings account is a completly unconnected independent account, money cannot be transferred between a current account and a different savings account.

Goals effectively just earmark funds in a current account for a future spend. The money in goals is still in the current account and it is wrong for a transaction to be declined because there is insufficient funds in one ‘pot’ in the account.


But they are earmarked just like you said, so they are not available to spend!


all this confusion is because of the lack of subaccounts with very specific goals and unique numbers. if you put aside for direct debits or standing orders you absolutely don’t want the money to be spent under any other reason. if you are saving coins, you probably don’t mind taking a few when you run out.

imo the right solution to OP’s problem is to get an overdraft, or to be sure to keep enough cash available.


Then that deters from the fact that I’m suggesting a feature to Starling. There’s a basic and inconvenient alternative for everything that’s suggested in this forum, wouldn’t you agree? I’d much rather a dedicated feature was available for the issue that arose.


I’m sure they could do something. If you use Revolut and you overspend in one currency, it automatically takes the payment from the balance of another currency.


Adding a toggle option to goals to be able to use as reserve card funding in the event of a transacation being requested that would have otherwise been declined would be a really useful feature for many people. However given that Starlings overdraft is interest free if the amount you have saved in goals is greater than that of you negative overdraft balance at least in the mean time there is an effective solution.


Not for those who haven’t been offered an overdraft or do not want to impact their credit score.


Having an overdraft doesn’t negatively impact your credit score in any way. Using an overdraft isn’t the perfect solution but it is a solution in the meantime whilst we wait for Starling to develop a better solution around using Goals/Pots for payment/DDs/etc.


You’re right; it doesn’t. But having multiple hard checks in a small period does.