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A shared credit card might sound like love. It's not

October 16, 2013|By David Lazarus

Jose says his girlfriend added him to her credit card a few years ago. She proceeded to run up $40,000 in debt, which she didn't pay off.

The couple broke up. Now Jose says he's got creditors knocking at his door demanding payment for his ex's spending sprees. What to do?

This horror story illustrates why you should never, ever agree to be added to someone else's plastic. Love doesn't always last forever. You don't want an erstwhile sweetie's debt haunting you after a relationship has run its course.

ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions

Jose says he never signed any paperwork. If so, he might be able to convince creditors that they have no legal grounds to chase after him.

If, on the other hand, he was legitimately added to his former flame's card, he may be in trouble. Creditors will hunt down anyone they can find when it comes to money being owed. And they'll trash your credit score to get what they want.

My advice to Jose is to contact each creditor and make his case. You never know.

And the next time a girlfriend says they should share plastic, the answer is clear: No thanks.

For more, check out today's Ask Laz video.

If you have a consumer question, email me at asklaz@latimes.com or contact me via Twitter @Davidlaz.

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