Dealing with your non-priority debts

​Dealing with your creditors

Check the name on the agreement

Only the person who signs an agreement is responsible for the debt. A husband and wife are not responsible for each other's debts unless they both sign the agreement. If you take out an agreement jointly with another person, you are each responsible for the whole debt and not just part of it. This is called joint and several liability. Make sure the creditor knows that someone else is also responsible.

Check your credit agreement carefully. If you don't understand the terms or want to check that the agreement is in the correct format and that you are legally responsible for the debt, contact your local trading standards department or contact us for advice.

Under 18s

People under 18 can only be made to pay for 'essential goods and services' bought on credit, such as fuel supplies. If you are under 18 and have an agreement for non-essential goods or services, you cannot be taken to court if you owe money for them. However, it is not always clear which things are 'essential'. The court can decide this for each case. Generally, parents are not responsible for their children's debts unless they have signed a guarantee.

Guarantors

Creditors may ask for a guarantor before agreeing to lend money. This means that if the person who has borrowed the money does not pay it back, the guarantor will be asked to pay. If you have a guarantor for one of your non-priority debts, or are a guarantor for someone else, contact us for advice.