In some cases, such as with a divorce, it becomes necessary to split joint credit card debt. Unfortunately, credit card companies are not obligated to remove a joint account holder’s name from an account and typically, they do not like to do so. Because both account holders are equally responsible for the credit card balance of a joint account, releasing one of them from the obligation puts the company at a higher risk. There are steps you can take, however, to attempt to remove someone’s name from a joint credit card account.
Obtain the credit reports for you and the joint account holder (You may have to ask the individual to provide the information for you.) Determine whose credit score is higher. Credit card companies are more likely to release an individual from a joint account if the person planning to keep the account has a significantly higher credit score.
Send a novation request to the credit card company. Novation is the process by which a credit card company will release a joint account holder from the obligations to the credit card debt with the understanding that another individual will assume the responsibility. This process is more likely to be successful if you carry a low balance on the card and have not made a late payment within the previous two years.
Wait for a response from the credit card company to your request for novation. If the novation request is accepted, the credit card company will send a form for both you and the other account holder to sign, acknowledging that you both desire to convert the joint account to a personal account.
Contact the credit card company if the company refuses your request for a novation. Ask to speak to a supervisor. Ask the supervisor if the credit card can be transferred into your name only once the balance is paid in full. The credit card company is likely to accept this arrangement because it presents a much lower risk.
Ask for a copy of the agreement in writing once you have worked out the exact terms of the arrangement with the supervisor.
Pay off the credit card balance.
Once the balance is paid, contact the credit card company and request the necessary paperwork to remove the joint account holder’s name from the account.
Sign the paperwork and obtain the signature of the joint account holder as well. Make copies of the documents for your own records. Return the paperwork to the credit card company.