Many Britons ‘are lying to their loved ones about their debts’

Britons with debt problems are often choosing to lie about their issue to their loved ones rather than coming clean, according to a new consumer surve…

Britons with debt problems are often choosing to lie about their issue to their loved ones rather than coming clean, according to a new consumer survey.

Carried out by MoneySuperMarket and Opinium Research, the poll asked 2,002 people about how truthful consumers are with their partner, friends and family about their bank balances, and found that 33 per cent of those questioned have been dishonest about the amount of money they owe.

People in debt tell their partners they owe an average of £8,687, whereas the truthful average figure is £17,481. Meanwhile, those hiding the truth from their family have £9,926 worth of debt, but claim to owe £5,192, with those lying to their friends say they owe £8,292 when the actual average figure stands at £11,896.

It was revealed that women are more likely to fall into this trap, with 37 per cent of females bending the truth about debt compared to only 29 per cent of men. The report also showed that Britons are most likely to lie to their families about debt, followed by their friends and finally their partners.

When asked to explain, 41 per cent said shame was the main reason they are being economical with the truth, with 21 per cent citing stress as the cause. A further ten per cent are not being honest because they fear a disapproving or angry reaction.

Additionally, it was shown that 53 per cent of those who have lied to their family do not plan to reveal the truth any time soon, while 41 per cent do not intend to tell their friends and 23 per cent will not be confessing to their partners.

Kevin Mountford, head of banking at MoneySuperMarket, said: "It is worrying that so many people with debts are masking the real truth from the people closest to them. This could cause further damage to relationships if and when the truth comes out. 

"The best way to cope is to tackle debts head on, not to bury your head in the sand and be honest to those closest to you, as they are the people who can often provide help and support."

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