How to avoid debt

Sunday Herald Sun - Body and Soul - - Cover -

Th­ese ideas from Veda Ad­van­tage can help you avoid con­tract­ing debt from your part­ner.

Don’t sign Never sign any­thing with­out un­der­stand­ing the full im­pli­ca­tions of your re­spon­si­bil­ity. A sig­na­ture is legally bind­ing, mean­ing you will ei­ther meet the fi­nan­cial obli­ga­tion or be held re­spon­si­ble for the debt.

Seek le­gal ad­vice Your le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive can read the fine print of the le­gal doc­u­ment, and ad­vise you ac­cord­ingly.

Talk If you have been left with a pile of bills, con­tact your cred­i­tor. They may be able to give you other op­tions so you can avoid de­fault­ing.

Share the bur­den When pur­chas­ing joint as­sets have them signed in both your names.

Be care­ful with credit Be wary of adding your part­ners name to your credit card as an ad­di­tional card­holder as this means you are ul­ti­mately re­spon­si­ble for the card’s debt.

Keep up to date with your obli­ga­tions No­tify your fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions as soon as your re­la­tion­ship ends to close any joint sav­ings or ac­counts in or­der to pro­tect your money. Also ask them to stop any loan re­draw fa­cil­i­ties from be­ing used, and get this in writ­ing.

Cut them off Af­ter a re­la­tion­ship has ended, en­sure your ex-part­ner no longer has ac­cess to your credit card. If you change ad­dress, en­sure copies of joint ac­count state­ments are sent to you so that you don’t miss pay­ment for any bills.

Credit check Ob­tain a free copy of your credit file from Veda Ad­van­tage once a year to stay in tune with your credit his­tory. Go to www. vedaadvantage.com.au to find out more.

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