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What Is Economic Abuse & Coerced Debt?

There are many reasons why someone may experience financial difficulties and find themselves in debt and, of course, it can be incredibly worrying to be in such a situation… but especially so if the circumstances arise because of an abusive partner.

Economic abuse occurs when someone interferes with an individual’s ability to acquire, use and maintain resources like money, transportation and utilities. This can result in coerced debt, where you are forced to make transactions that lead you to owe money, or where debts have been fraudulently built up in your name.

Coercing or forcing someone into debt is a very common type of economic abuse and if you are in this situation, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone and that there is help available should you need it.

Types of coerced debt include making you take out a loan or credit card against your wishes, someone else using your credit card, someone taking out a credit card, mortgage or loan in your name and putting bills in your name, including mobile contracts and car finance agreements.

It can also be where you’re forced into a position where you need to take out credit in order to live, such as by taking your wages, stealing from you or forcing you to buy items.

Falling into debt can lead to financial instability and this makes you more dependent on the other person involved, with any surplus cash you may have going towards paying off your debts. This can then make it harder for you to live independently, so you’re forced to stay trapped in your situation.

There are various avenues of support available if you do have coerced debt and it is important to seek professional debt advice from a qualified, experienced and professional debt adviser so you can find the most appropriate option for you based on your specific circumstances.

Figures from UK charity Surviving Economic Abuse indicate that 16 per cent of adults (some 8.7 million people) say they have experience of economic abuse (1), while 60 per cent of survivors of coercive control have been forced to take on debt that can have an impact on their credit ratings and which can take years to repay.

After you’ve spoken to your debt adviser, you may find that you are able to write off your debt with your creditors once the circumstances have been explained and it has been determined you are not liable for these debts. This is not guaranteed, however, so it’s important to discuss all your options with your adviser.

if you are liable for the debt and are struggling to pay, working with an adviser can help you find a manageable solution.

If you are struggling with debt at the moment and think you could benefit from talking to a Debt Management Company, get in touch with us today to see how we can help.



Money Helper has replaced the Money Advice Service and brings together the support and services of three government-backed financial guidance providers: the Money Advice Service, the Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise.