£41bn ‘debt time bomb’ hidden by loved-up Brits

A “debt time bomb” with a payload of £41 billion has been hidden by Britons in relationships, leaving their creditors and spouses both facing the risk of having to foot the bill.

Figures from The Co-operative Bank show men owe an average of £14,228 in overdrafts, credit cards, mortgages and loans, while women owe a massive £22,418 on average.

But 13% of those in relationships have not told their partner about their personal debt – creating a legal minefield when it comes to repayments.

The Co-operative Legal Services explain that debts may be passed to the partner or estate on death, or may come to light during divorce proceedings.

Where major assets – such as a house – have been bought jointly, there may also be disagreement over who owns the property between the partner and any creditors.

“The findings show that younger people are the most debt-laden age group, perhaps unsurprisingly due to university costs and a more relaxed attitude to money; however, the average debt in this group is more than £30,000, which is worrying,” says James Hillon, head of home and family at The Co-operative Bank.

At the Cash Protection Agency, we can help you reclaim money that is rightfully owed to you by individuals, with a professional, experienced approach that identifies the correct legal procedure and can clear up any doubt over who owes the debt.

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