Check the financial ties that bind you, MyCallcredit warns

When people split up many forget that they're still financially associated with their former spouse - even after divorce - unless they do something about it, warns MyCallcredit, the consumer credit report service.

The warning is timely. January is a peak month for separations as the festive season and its pressures drive the final nail in the coffin of many ailing relationships.

And while people concentrate on a legal split many forget to separate themselves financially, which can have an impact on their credit file and future creditworthiness for years to come.

MyCallcredit spokesperson Melanie Mitchley says:

"Any joint credit arrangements need to be transferred into single names and joint accounts closed before an individual can disassociate themselves from their former spouse. If people aren't proactive they can find their own finances affected by their ex's future partners. And that's something to be avoided at all costs."

MyCallcredit tips for looking after your finances when you break up.

  • Check your credit file online at http://www.mycallcredit.com
  • Note all joint financial commitments and agree how they will be split between you and your ex. Even if your ex says he or she will pay it you're still liable if they don't.
  • Contact the lenders involved and inform them of the debt you have taken on - this may involve signing new loan agreements or credit card applications.
  • Make sure that you get back any credit cards from your ex where they are the second card-holder - you will still be liable for their spending.
  • Once you have sorted out all the credit commitments jointly listed for you and your ex inform the credit reference agencies that you wish to be disassociated from your ex. If you don't, whatever they and / or future partners do can affect your credit file for the next six years.

To help people who need to check their credit file because of a relationship breakdown MyCallcredit is offering a 30 day free trial of its premium e-alerts credit monitoring service. The service gives people access to their credit file online and provides alerts by text or email informing people of any significant change to their file.

Ms Mitchley says:

"Splitting up is always difficult but it pays to take the initiative and disassociate yourself from your ex and their borrowings as soon as possible - otherwise you could be in for a nasty surprise."