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Tackling your debts

Do you have debts your partner doesn’t know about?

Posted 27 May 2014

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<p>Debt can be a worrying thing to cope with, and yet 1 in 10 people in the UK admit they have not told their partner how much they owe.</p>


It’s not uncommon for us to conceal the truth from our partner from time to time. For instance, we might not tell them exactly how much that pair of shoes we just bought cost, or that we’re forking out for the most expensive TV package.


However, there are some financial situations it’s best not to keep under wraps, like when you’re worried about a problem debt.


Secret debts


A recent survey* conducted on our behalf found that across the UK, one in 10 adults (or 13% of people who are in a relationship) are hiding debts from their partners. That’s equivalent to 5.4 million people.


It’s not a small number … and neither are the sums people are concealing. While just over one in 20 people with hidden debts owed less than £100, others owed much, much more. When asked how much they owed, be it to friends and family or on a credit card, personal or payday loan, nearly half of respondents with concealed debts revealed it was more than £2,500. And a quarter admitted it was over £5,000.


Which Regions are Most Likely to Conceal their Debts?


Region

Percentage of Residents Admit to Hidden Debts

London

20.3%

Northern Ireland

15.8%

North East

13%

North West

11.7%

Scotland

10.6%

West Midlands

10%

Yorkshire

10%

South East

9%

East Midlands

9%

East Anglia

8.7%

South West

8.1%

Wales

5.6%

Don’t keep it to yourself

Keeping debts of this … or any … size to yourself can make managing your household finances very difficult. Because you share a life together, your partner’s finances are linked to yours, so it’s important they are included in any decisions you make about money.


However, another reason to tell them that’s just as important is so you can avoid shouldering the burden alone. Being in debt can be an isolating experience where you feel that you have nowhere to turn. If you’re hiding it from the people closest to you, it will only make the stress you’re feeling worse.


Support is available

If you’re struggling to repay the money you owe and fear it will pile up and turn into a problem debt, it’s important not to ignore the situation and hope it will go away. It probably won’t and it may even get worse.


There is help and support available to you. You can learn about the different debt solutions and, depending on the one you pick, your partner does not need to find out if you choose not to tell them. In the meantime, you will be getting help with your debts and have somewhere you can turn for support so you no longer have to cope with the secret alone.


*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 2nd May and 12th May 2014, of whom 500 were Scottish residents. Figures have been extrapolated to fit ONS 2013 population projections of 50,371,000 UK adults.

by Kyri Levendi

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.