HELP WITH DEBT
HELP WITH DEBT
Can joint debts affect my credit score?
In short, yes. Whilst not merged into the one credit score, if you take on a joint debt with someone your credit reports will become linked as the debt will show on each one.
If you keep up with the payments, this can be a great thing for both parties as it shows that you are both a good risk for future lending.
However, if either party misses a payment or defaults on the agreement, it will be reflected on both credit reports, regardless of which side it was. This will ultimately bring your credit scores down and make it difficult to obtain further credit.
I have split up with my partner/spouse, am I only responsible for my half of the debts?
No, you are both responsible for the full balance, if one person decides to shy away from their obligations to the debt, the other person will, by default, become solely responsible for it.
This is written into most, if not all, financial agreements and is known as ‘joint and several liability’.
Our advice is always to try to come to a fair agreement to with the other person to repay the debt. It isn’t going to go away if you ignore it, and the aftereffects will only cause you more stress.
Understandably, this isn’t always as easy as it is made out. If a relationship ends on bad terms, or if one side becomes unable to make payments, this can lead to even more stress and anxiety. In these instances, it’s best to seek debt help to find our what options you have.
I’m married, will my debts become joined with my spouses?
No, you will remain responsible for any debts you have taken out in your own name, before and after marriage.
It’s a common myth that once you join in marriage, that your credit report then becomes a joint one, which is simply not true. However, should you then decide to take on debts in both your names, and one side does not have good credit, the other person’s credit score may be impacted.
I’m being chased for a joint debt that I didn’t sign up for, what can I do?
In this instance, you are best to contact the lender. Ask for the original contract – if it doesn’t contain your signature or you don’t recognise it, it could mean you have been a target of fraud.
We can offer you advice on this, but it is also a good idea to seek legal advice to ensure the right steps are taken.
What happens to joint debts if my spouse/a family member or I die?
If you have any joint debts with a spouse or family member who have died, the debt will become your sole responsibility. This is also the case if you were a guarantor for a debt owed by the deceased.
If you jointly own your home, lenders may try to claim half of any equity in the property to help repay debts.
If you’ve been left with the responsibility of paying a joint and are struggling to pay, we can help. Our advisors work endlessly to ensure that you receive the best debt advice possible and will always be on hand to help you. Contact us to for free and confidential debt advice to find a way to deal with your debts that suits you.