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Joint debts

How can I deal with joint debts?

If one person can’t or won’t contribute money towards a joint debt it can leave the other person in a difficult situation where they can’t afford the payments.

If you have arrears on a joint debt, any action that creditors take will affect both of you.

Coming to an agreement over joint debts

In some situations it might be easier to try to make an arrangement with the other person on how you’ll repay the debt. Because the debt will affect you both if you don’t keep up the payments, talking about this might help you agree how you’ll both deal with it.

Sometimes things aren’t as straightforward, for example if you’ve separated on bad terms or because a change in circumstances means one of you can’t afford your share of the payments. In this case you should keep in touch with the creditor and seek expert debt advice on what your options are.

What happens to joint debts if I die?

If a person dies and leaves an unsecured debt in joint names, the other person named on the agreement will become responsible for repaying the full amount of the debt.

The loss of a loved one can have many implications on your financial situation, and our bereavement and debt section will cover the basic information you need.

Struggling with joint debts?

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Help and advice with joint debts

If you’ve taken out a debt in joint names that you’ve been left responsible to pay, or you’re not sure how to deal with it then we can help. We can offer free advice on the best way to deal with your debts and give you information on what action creditors can take.

You can call us for free or use our online debt advice tool to get personalised, free advice on your options.

Helping you become debt free...

“I wish to thank your staff for all the great help they gave me when I was in so much debt.
They were a pillar of support to me.” (Leslie, Essex)

Foundation for Credit Counselling Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG trading as StepChange Debt Charity and StepChange Debt Charity Scotland. A registered charity no.1016630 and SC046263. It is a limited company registered in England and Wales (company no:2757055). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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© StepChange Debt Charity 2019