22% of Britons ‘hiding debts’ from partners

More than one in five people are hiding their debts from their partner in a move that could threaten the couple's financial future. 

Resea…

More than one in five people are hiding their debts from their partner in a move that could threaten the couple's financial future. 

Research from Prudential has uncovered the seriousness of the situation, as consumers are typically withholding information about arrears to the tune of £7,800.

This lack of trust could not only be disastrous for a relationship, but also the finances of the people involved, as individuals are unlikely to be taking a proactive approach to clearing their debts if they are not even talking about their situation. 

In terms of why Britons are in trouble, 48 per cent admitted borrowing money to simply afford everyday essentials, while 34 per cent blamed overspending for finding themselves in the red. For 16 per cent, unsecured lending was to cover payments to an ex-partner, such as child support. 

Surprisingly, 13 per cent of respondents have never told their partners what they earn, a decision that may explain how they find themselves in a such a perilous situation. Over half (51 per cent) of those questioned said independence is the main reason for not coming clean on their finances. 

Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement expert at Prudential, said debt secrets could "pose a serious risk to a couple's future retirement income" and so people might be better off having an awkward conversation instead. 

"For example, if a couple reach retirement with savings that are secret from one another they may have missed out on years of tax relief that they would have been entitled to if the money had been invested in a pension. Meanwhile, making repayments in retirement on an unexpected debt will have an obviously negative impact on a couple's income," he added.

Mr Smith-Hughes remarked couples need to have a full understanding of each other's financial situation, as this is the only way to put a proper plan of action in place should debt management help be required. 

By Amy White

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