2m Brits left with debts after a break-up
Two million people have been left with the debts racked up by an ex-partner, according to a new survey.
On average, people were left credit card debts of £457, £313 in joint-account fees and £327 on shared online shopping accounts, according to the research from comparison site uSwitch.com.
Four in 10 affected people said it took them more than half a year to clear the balance, but 11% said it took them more than five years.
The report also found 68% of people who shared an account with an ex-partner didn't close the account within five years of breaking up. A third of people also said they didn't change their pin number after separating.
Half the people who have shared accounts with ex-partners said it's affected their own finances, and three in 10 claimed it had negatively impacted their credit score.
Nicolas Frankcom, money expert at uSwitch.com, said: "When it comes to finances, only fools rush in. Money might not be the sexiest pillow talk, but not addressing it can lead to financial, as well as emotional, heartache further down the line.
"Being left with debts that last longer than the relationship only rubs salt in the wound after a breakup.
"The reality is that couples can remain financially linked by their credit report long after a relationship breaks down and an account has been cancelled."
The website advises people to close any accounts previously shared with an ex and check with the three main credit agencies to check they're not still linked financially.
Your credit score is a three-digit number (ranging from a low of 300 to a high of 850) calculated from the information in your credit report. Your credit score enables lenders to determine how much of a credit risk you are. Basically, a low credit score indicates you present a higher risk of defaulting on your debt obligations than someone with a high score. If you have a low credit score, any products you successfully apply for will carry a higher rate of interest commensurate with this risk.
A report containing detailed information on a person’s credit history, a record of an individual’s (or company’s) past borrowing and repaying, including information about late payments and bankruptcy. It also includes all applications a person has made for financial products and whether they were rejected or accepted. Your credit report can be obtained by prospective lenders to determine your creditworthiness.
Used by the holder to buy goods and services, credit cards also have a monthly or annual spending limit, which may be raised or lowered depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder. But unlike charge cards, borrowers aren’t forced to pay the balance off in full every month and, as long as they make a stated minimum payment, can carry a balance from one month to the next, generating compound interest. As the issuing company is effectively giving you a short-term loan, most credit cards have variable and relatively high interest rates. Allowing the interest to compound for too long may result in dire financial straits.