27th December 2016 - 3 min read
You might think that it’s not easy to forget growing debt, but these payments you owe or of which you are liable can suddenly creep up on you. Here are some responsibilities that are all too easy to lose track of:
If you didn’t see a transfer through to the end and relied on the reassigned to make payments regularly, don’t be surprised if you find that the loan account is in arrears. In addition, you may also see traffic summons of which you aren’t responsible, listed in your name.
When people are blacklisted or not of age, they may not be allowed to apply for certain utilities or subscriptions. If you’ve helped someone sign up with your good name, be sure that the payments are up-to-date because you will be liable in the event of non-payment.
You are liable for the charges on a supplementary credit card, even if you aren’t the one who racked it up. Do check credit card statements regularly and consider setting a lower limit to one you can afford. This way you’ll have some control over the amounts charged to the card. Still, finance charges and ensuing debt can accumulate if these bills aren’t cleared.
Dormant accounts that you never bothered to close and which are accumulating in maintenance fees does not bode well for your credit status as it will represent a debt. Even though the fees are teeny, the amount needs to be cleared in addition to closing or reactivating the account.
As a rule of thumb, only guarantee a loan if you can actually pay it all back – because you will be liable for the balance owed should the borrower fail to make repayments. If you can’t repay the loan, your financial reputation will be sullied and getting new financing will be rather difficult if not impossible.
This is likely to happen with people who move often between rental homes; it might slip their minds to cancel or terminate the services they’ve subscribed (e.g. internet or satellite TV). But the bill will keep accumulating for some time until the service is cancelled and after which; late, admin, and legal fees may pile on. Eventually, service providers may report your case to a credit reporting agency (CTOS) where it can stay on file indefinitely.
Take control of your financial affairs by first getting a copy of your credit report such as a CTOS report, which will list non-bank debt, legal cases and other reports that relate to your name. Be sure to clear any owed amounts and settle disputes, if any.
You’ll also need to make a habit of filing the copies of any documents you sign – keep these on hand for review. More importantly, remember to actively monitor all debt under your name. To do this, you should formulate a list and follow up with the persons you are helping. Do also consider asking for proof-of-payment as well.
If you are struggling with credit card debt, check out this article for tips on how to clear it off. In addition, you might want to consider applying for a balance transfer to reduce the amount of interests you are paying with your existing card or to consolidate several debts.
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