When you borrow money or enter into a financial agreement with someone else, such as your partner, you take out a joint debt. There are different types of joint debts, such loans, credit agreements and bank accounts.
When you take out a joint debt, you and the other person both become responsible for the whole amount, not just your own share or ‘half’. If one of you can’t or won’t pay, you’re both liable for the full debt no matter which one of you spent the money. This is known as ‘joint and several liability’.
If you've been left with a joint debt to pay and can't afford it, we can help you with expert debt advice to help you manage the situation.
One type of debt that people sometimes think is in joint name is credit card debt. Unlike other joint agreements there’s no such thing as a joint credit card. You can choose to have additional cardholders who can spend on their own card, but it’s only the account holder who’s liable for repaying the debt.
Joint and several liability can also apply to other debts, including household bills such as rent, mortgage, council tax, water charges and utility bills.