Will Your Credit Debt Haunt Your Loved Ones?

by Kayc

Posted on 10/07/2019


The subject of death isn’t something we like to discuss or even think about. When it comes to credit card debt, knowing who will will be responsible for your debt, is important.


Generally when someone passes away, the executor turns to the person’s estate first to pay off any remaining credit card balances & other debts. If the deceased person has more debts than they have assets, the creditors may be out of luck & will likely have to take a loss. However, that isn’t always the case. 

For your beneficiaries(i.e children, spouse, family members, etc.), debts are often dealt with first before any inheritance is distributed. If no inheritance or will is left behind, there are other ways your loved ones may end up responsible for your debt. 

Here are two examples:


Being a Co-Signer or Joint Card Holder 

A co-signer or joint credit card holder will likely be liable for the debt that is left behind. It’s important to always keep tabs on your credit report & try to make sure any financial issues are resolved before a traumatic event occurs. But honestly, unless you are a psychic, the chances of predicting a traumatic event will occur are extremely slim. 


Using a Card after the Card Holder’s Passing

If an authorized user continues to use a credit card after the cardholder passes away, that could be a big problem. It can look as though the authorized user is spending someone else’s money with the intention of not paying it back. The authorized user may also be accused of fraud, especially if they knew that the debt would not be repaid.


Having a large amount of debt at any point in your life can make things a lot more complicated for you, your loved ones, & your future goals. Learning to budget, changing spending habits, & reducing your overall debt is the first step in living a more financially secure life. A life that won’t come back to haunt your loved ones after you’re gone.

  • What is the best debt relief option for you?