People feel they cannot talk about debt

People in the UK feel that they cannot talk about debt with their family and friends, with the subject now being listed in the top five taboos individ…

People in the UK feel that they cannot talk about debt with their family and friends, with the subject now being listed in the top five taboos individuals believe they must keep to themselves.

New research from the Debt Advisory Centre has found that financial worries are now predominant in issues people would not bring up with their loved ones.

This is a worrying trend as asking for help is one of the biggest steps towards getting out of debt before the situation spirals out of control.

Debt appears to be an uncomfortable topic for people to speak about and it could be the case that many do not want to start an argument by talking about money, while others may be embarrassed about their financial situation.

The touchy subject now sits alongside sexual health problems (54 per cent), emotional issues (40 per cent), finances in general (28 per cent), mental health concerns (27 per cent) in the list of things people would rather not talk about.

A quarter of respondents (24 per cent) said they feel debt is a taboo area that should not be discussed.

Interestingly, this extended to individuals' spouses, with 15 per cent of those surveyed saying they would not bring up the problem with their partner. This resulted in the subject placing in seventh position in the rankings, which is still quite high.

Other topics of conversations people stay away from with their other half include emotional issues (36 per cent), past relationships (33 per cent), sexual health problems (25 per cent), mental health issues (22 per cent), health concerns (21 per cent) and finances in general (19 per cent).

In terms of gender, it is men who seem less willing to discuss debt with their partner, with 19 per cent claiming they feel they cannot talk about it, compared with just 11 per cent of women.

The research attempted to pin down the reasons why people consider these subjects to be taboo and why they found it difficult to speak about them, even with people close to them. The respondents said they did not want to talk about certain things because it was embarrassing for them (52 per cent) and 36 per cent said "you just 'don't talk about' some things".

Some 31 per cent said it will cause arguments so is best not spoken about, 26 per cent believe it is a sign of weakness, while one in five (19 per cent) said it is upsetting to go into.

Ian Williams from the Debt Advisory Centre said: "The unhelpful taboo that surrounds debt means people often struggle on alone and seek help later than they should. 

"In reality, the sooner people with debt problems speak to a specialist debt adviser the better. A professional adviser won't judge them, but can reassure them that they aren't alone and work with them to find an appropriate solution to their debt issues," he added.

It is important for people to open up about their financial problems as bottling it up can cause stress and make the situation even worse. By getting on top of debt now, the future can soon start to appear much brighter.

By Joe White

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