Martin: 'PPI's over, but I've THIRTEEN more ways you can reclaim £1,000s'
I'm no fan of a compensation culture. Instead MSE and I have long, proudly been at the forefront of reclaiming – that's getting YOUR money back when it shouldn't have been taken (or if you weren't paid what you should've been). Compensation is different, it's using the law to get extra money, often as a punishment.
PPI is by far the biggest reclaim we've seen – it's now thought the total payout will be close to £50 billion. Staggering. Yet while it's now over (barring processing the final claims), there are still a host of other ways you may be owed.
With all of these, THERE'S NO NEED TO PAY ANYONE to reclaim, you can easily do it yourself. In each, I've indicated the rough scale of magnitude the reclaim can get to. So scan through the list and see if you're due...
1) Mis-sold packaged bank accounts – ever paid a monthly fee for your bank account? Reclaim £1,000s
Packaged bank accounts are those where you pay a monthly fee for extras such as travel insurance, mobile or breakdown cover (accounts including Lloyds Gold, Barclays Additions and NatWest Advantage Gold). Mis-selling was rife, I suspect there are still hundreds of millions of pounds to be repaid.
However, packaged accounts aren't all bad – if you made an active choice to get them, they can be great value. The danger sign is if you were called up or called in for a bank review and pushed into getting one, or even told there wasn't a choice. If so, they often didn't check suitability (eg, you were 66 and the insurance only covered up to age 65). Any of these issues may mean you're due years of fees back.
Our guide includes the FREE packaged bank account reclaim tool (via Resolver) that helps draft a claim and escalates it if needed.
As Lauren emailed: "I took out a Lloyds Silver Account after being told I needed it to keep my mortgage rate. I got a full refund, plus interest, for £1,400."
And Wayne tweeted: "@MartinSLewis got £2,400 back of fees dating back to 1992. Thank you."
2) Unwittingly paid for Amazon Prime? Reclaim £79
If your account's been debited by Amazon without you knowing why, here's how to get an Amazon Prime refund.
3) Reclaim student loan overpayments if you started paying too soon. Reclaim £100s
Regardless of what you earn, you shouldn't start repaying student loans until the April after you leave, but many employers wrongly took/take it via the payroll. In fact, over just three years 100,000+ university leavers repaid their student loans unnecessarily (according to our Freedom of Information request).
If that's you, and you started uni after 1998, you can get the money back. See our Student Loan Overpayments guide.
As Lyndsey emailed: "Thanks to watching Martin Lewis, I contacted the Student Loans Company and have got a refund of £706 as I started paying straightaway."
4) Mis-sold payday loans – was the lender irresponsible? Reclaim £100s
Thankfully the immoral scourge of payday lending is less prevalent, as many firms are going bust due to a surge of successful reclaims.
The main forms of mis-selling were that they lent money to people who couldn't realistically pay it back, and/or they didn't provide people with full info. If that's you, you can reclaim the interest, which was often huge. Our guide includes a FREE reclaim payday loans tool.
We've had some reclaims of up to £4,000, including Hayley, who tweeted: "A big thank you for wonderful advice, got £500 wiped and a £2,045 refund from a payday loan company."
Lender gone bust?
You can still reclaim from the administrator, but it's likely you'll be just one of many 'creditors' to the company, meaning you'll at best only get a few pence in the pound back.
WONGA WARNING: There's a special process to reclaim Wonga loans, but the last time you can do this is Monday 30 September.
5) Delayed or overpaid for the (London) tube? Reclaim £10s
If you're delayed over 15 minutes, you may be able to claim a late refund. Plus in 2018, £114 million extra was charged to customers who didn't tap out, so check for tap out refunds. Also, there's a whopping £387 million sitting on unused Oyster cards – see get an Oyster refund.
6) Reclaim unfair bank charges for busting your overdraft. Reclaim £100s
This was my first big reclaim campaign, starting way back in 2004. We got people over £1 billion back, until the Supreme Court kiboshed it on a technicality in 2009. Yet the death of bank charges reclaiming has been exaggerated.
While it's no longer: 'Had charges? Get 'em back', if you are in financial hardship and bank charges were a contributing factor, you may be able to get them back. We've downloadable template letters to help in Reclaim bank charges for free.
Forumite Tombo wrote: "I used MSE's template letter, adjusting it to my situation of being on ESA, having had health issues and a difficult year – NatWest refunded me £104."
7) Get PPI payout tax back. Reclaim £100s
When you get/got a PPI payout, part of the payment is 'statutory interest', which has tax automatically taken off before you get it. Yet most people needn't pay this tax and are due it back. Full help in my reclaim PPI tax blog.
As Chris tweeted: "@MartinSLewis just received a cheque from HMRC for a £650 tax refund on PPI. Thanks for your help."
8) Energy credit – are you due money back? Reclaim £100s
If you were in credit when you switched energy firm, the old provider should give you the money back. Yet they used to operate a 'don't ask, don't get' system – meaning millions weren't given their cash back.
Things have improved in recent years. So this is mainly about switches made prior to 2014 (when Ofgem challenged firms to do better), making it – in many ways – a last chance saloon as data is generally held for six years. Still, it can be worth calling up former providers and checking. See more on energy credit reclaiming.
9) Council tax – are you in the wrong band? Reclaim £1,000s
Up to 400,000 homes may be in the wrong band – many in too high a band, and thus paying too much. I came up with my council tax check and challenge system back in 2007, and it went viral (before the word viral went viral). I then did an ITV show on it, which is still my highest-ever rating, nearly six million from memory.
So it's no surprise we've been swamped with successes ever since. If you're in too high a band, you can get it lowered and get a backdated payout.
As James emailed: "A few letters and some emails showing evidence and I have had my property banding lowered and repaid back to 1993 – a refund of £7,330."
10) Flight cancelled or delayed at any time since 2013? You may be due. Fixed compensation £110-£530/person
This isn't a reclaim, it's a set amount of compensation you're due under EU rule 261/2004. So you should decide yourself if you feel you were badly treated, and if so, go for it. To qualify, your flight must've been three things...
a) an EU-regulated flight, b) either cancelled or delayed with arrival 3+ hours late, and c) the problem must've been the airline's fault.
Use our FREE flight delay reclaim tool to manage your claim.
Katherine tweeted: "Many thanks. Followed your advice after a 5hr delay with Turkish Airlines. Used Resolver and have just been awarded €600 each – which is £4,000."
11) Severe Mental Impairment (eg, Alzheimer's/Stroke/Parkinson's) council tax discount. Reclaim £1,000s
Please help spread the word that some of society's most vulnerable are missing out.
If someone has a diagnosed 'Severe Mental Impairment' (I just call it an SMI, as I think it's a horrid term), they are entitled to be disregarded for council tax purposes, ie, they don't pay it if they live alone, and get 25% off if they live with someone else.
Yet this is massively underpublicised. Our How to claim a Severe Mental Impairment council tax discount guide shows how to claim. Plus if you do, many councils will also backdate it.
Pam emailed us: "My brother has Parkinson's and I told him what Martin had said. He made a claim and received £2,500. He was also informed he would no longer be charged council tax. Thank you."
12) Wear a uniform to work? Claim tax back. Reclaim £60+
If you wear a branded T-shirt, overalls or other uniform for work, wash it yourself and don't wear it elsewhere, you're entitled to a small tax rebate, which is backdateable. See our Free uniform tax refund guide.
13) Married/civil partners? Can you backclaim five years of marriage tax allowance? Reclaim £1,150 per couple
700,000 eligible couples haven't claimed the marriage tax allowance.
To qualify, one of you needs to be a basic 20% rate taxpayer, and the other a non-taxpayer. If that's you, read our Marriage Tax Allowance guide for full help to get the cash.
As Ian tweeted: "Thanks @MartinSLewis I got a £660 marriage tax refund for me and my wife Vanessa."
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