Coerced Debt – What it is and how to protect yourself.
What is Coerced Debt?
Coerced debt is a form of financial abuse that occurs when an abuser uses debt to control their partner. This can take many forms, such as:
- Taking out loans or credit cards in their partner’s name without their knowledge or consent.
- Forcing their partner to sign for loans or credit cards that they cannot afford.
- Using their partner’s income to pay off their own debts.
- Threatening to harm their partner or their children if they do not agree to take on debt.
The Impact of Coerced Debt
Coerced debt can have a devastating impact on victims. It can lead to financial ruin, bankruptcy, and homelessness. It can also make it difficult to find housing, employment, and credit. In addition, victims of coerced debt may experience stress, anxiety, and depression.
How to Get Help
If you are a victim of coerced debt, there are resources available to help you. You can contact a domestic violence hotline or shelter for confidential support and information. You can also contact a consumer credit counseling agency for help with debt management.
What You Can Do to Protect Yourself
There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from coerced debt:
- Keep your financial information confidential. Do not share your Social Security number, bank account numbers, or credit card numbers with anyone you do not trust.
- Review your credit report regularly for any unauthorized accounts.
- Freeze your credit report to prevent anyone from opening new accounts in your name.
- Get a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once a year.
- Be aware of the signs of financial abuse. If your partner is controlling your finances, making you take on debt, or threatening you with financial ruin, it is important to get help.
Coerced debt is a serious problem that can have a devastating impact on victims. If you are a victim of coerced debt, there are resources available to help you. You can get confidential support and information from a domestic violence hotline or shelter. You can also get help with debt management from a consumer credit counseling agency.