Finding out that your partner has debt problems can be a difficult situation, but one which can be managed and resolved. Often there are mixed feelings about why the debt occurred and a fear over the future, but Debt Support Trust can help with debt advice.

The initial shock of the debt can be frightening and you may worry about how the money will be repaid. There are ways we can help you at the charity to get debt free again. You can call our advisors on 0800 085 0226 or complete our debt test to get online debt help.

Deal with Unexpected debt

People who contact Debt Support Trust don’t always realise the debt has existed. The shock can be worrying and mean you lose sleep and relationships are affected. There are certain tips we can give you to get the debt under control. These tips include


  1. Don’t panic: There are different ways to deal with debt and we help thousands of people every year with their debt problems.
  2. Income & Expenditure: Take30 minutes and create an income and expenditure. Sit down and look at your bank statements to understand what you spend every month and what you have coming in. Include all your benefits, income and pensions.
  3. Debts: List all of your debts on a piece of paper, with a rough idea of the outstanding balance. Don’t worry if this isn’t 100% accurate, a rough guide is enough.
  4. Get help: Speak to Debt Support Trust to understanding which debt solution would be best for you. In many circumstances we can help you come to an arrangement with your creditors.

There are questions you may have about your partners debt, so we’ve created a frequently asked questions section below.

Can my partner’s debt affect me?

Usually your partner’s debt will not affect you because the debt is personal to them. However, if you have assets, such as a house, which is jointly owned then your partner’s creditors could ask for any money in the assets. You will retain your share.

If you don’t have any assets then your partner’s creditors will only be able to ask your partner for the money back.

The debts are joint, what do I owe?

If your debts are joint with your partner then you are both liable for the full amount of the money. Most people think the debt is split 50/50 but in truth each person is liable for the full amount. This means that if one person can’t afford to make repayments then the other party can be responsible to repay the full amount.

Can bailiffs take my possessions?

Bailiffs are not allowed to take your possessions but they can take items belonging to your partner.

Will my credit rating be affected?

Typically your credit rating will not be affected because of your partner’s debt, however, if you are ‘associated’ with your partner on your credit file then it can impact on your credit score. You can speak to the credit referencing agencies (Experian, Equifax and Call Credit) to understand how you improve your credit score.