14th Aug 2015

Ex-partners run up shared credit card debts

The figures paint a picture of the potential risks that come when couples open joint accounts or share credit cards and then split up.

The average £457 debt on joint a credit card takes 40% of consumers more than 6 months to clear. 11% of cases are more extreme, with it taking over half a decade to pay off the debts.

A range of financial products were examined and similar instances of ex-partners running up large debts were found. The average debt racked up in these instances were:

  • £463 in mortgage debt
  • £327 in shared online shopping account
  • £313 on joint current accounts.

Half of those surveyed believed the effects of shared products on their financial position had been significant, with 30% reporting that their credit score got worse.

The reason why these debts were able to be accumulated often comes down to a lack of financial oversight after a relationship ends. 68% of people who had shared a financial product with a partner reported that it was still open more than 5 years after separating.

Adding to this, 32% still shared a pin code with an ex and 19% said the joint credit card remained active after the end of the relationship.

Nicolas Frankcom, money expert at uSwitch, said:

“When it comes to finances, only fools rush in. Being left with debts that last longer than the relationship only rubs slat in the wound after a breakup.

“If you do nothing else, make sure you keep a check on your own credit report so you can spot anything unusual on it. If you do break up with your partner, make sure to close all shared accounts and contact each of the three main credit agencies to remove any financial links between you and your ex.”

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