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Help with Debt

Joint Debt

Managing your money with a partner can be a useful way to control your outgoings and save money. For example, lots of couples set up a joint bank account when they move in together or, when the time comes to buy a house, a shared mortgage is normally easier to get than a single one.

However, if your relationship breaks down, bills that you pay together can become a lot harder to deal with, especially if one person goes back on their word. Being left with bills that have large balances on them can cause stress and shock, but we can help.

What you need to know

If one partner doesn’t keep up with their payments during or after a divorce, the other person may end up having to deal with some debts on their own. It’s often believed that each person is in charge of just their half of a joint bill, but this simply isn’t the case.

What can I do if I didn’t agree to sign up to an agreement?

If you’re being chased for debts and you don’t know what they’re for, the first thing to do is ask the company for the original paperwork. If you didn’t sign up for it, it’s possible that you’ve been a victim of fraud.

How does marriage affect debts?

All debts and bills taken out in your name before you get married will remain your responsibility afterwards, same as if one of you takes out a debt in your name alone once you are already married. Your credit reports will not be merged, but if one of you has bad credit, this may affect the other person’s credit score.

What happens to the debts of a deceased partner?

If the debt is in the name of the deceased only, then it is not your responsibility to pay it back. However, if there is money in any property jointly held that can be released, companies may try to take the deceased’s half of the money to pay back the debt.

What happens to the debts of a deceased family member?

This is much the same as the death of a partner; if the debts are not in your name then companies cannot ask you for payment. However, if you were a guarantor for the debt in question, they will be able to chase you for the outstanding balance.

How can I tell my family and loved ones about my debt problems?

People often feel uncomfortable or embarrassed to talk about their money problems and find it hard to let their loved ones know about their debts. However, we always advise that this news is much better coming from you rather than your family finding out when a bailiff turns up at your door.

Family members can often help you to find and plan ways to manage your debt problems. This will help to relieve some of your stress and possibly stop tension arising in your relationships with partners or family members.

How can I help a partner or family member who is in debt

Debt is a common problem across country, and there is no reason for people to feel ashamed or embarrassed. This is a message that should be spread everywhere as it’s important to make sure you know that you don’t need to face debt alone.

If your loved one doesn’t realise how bad their debt problems are, gather all the information you can and do your best to help them understand it.

If you’re struggling work through your debt problems, Creditfix is always available for you to call while you do this. We can talk you through your options and help you find a solution that’s right for your situation.

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