IVA Advisory Centre

October 23, 2012 09:18 ET

If You're Keeping Debt Secret, is it Time to Get Help?

Keeping debt secret from a partner could suggest an underlying debt problem, according to the IVA Advisory Centre

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Oct. 23, 2012) - A report by the Co-operative Bank suggests that Britons are keeping billions of pounds of debt secret from their partners.

The report says that people in relationships in the UK are apparently keeping as much as £41 billion of debt secret from their partners. The average debt belonging to those in relationships is said to be £17,112. Men admit to £14,228 debt on average - and women, £22,418 on average.

But why are we keeping our debts from our partners?

Talking about your personal finances is perhaps taboo and people are generally very private about their own money. Salaries aren't discussed in most workplaces, for example.

However, the figures are still surprising. You might expect that in a relationship, especially one where two people share a home, share a bank account, or share a surname, they could talk about everything openly. It seems that debt remains one of those taboo subjects that many people are not prepared to discuss - even with their partner.

On the other hand, keeping debt a secret from your partner could suggest an underlying debt problem that needs to be addressed.

Insolvency experts the IVA Advisory Centre are warning people who are keeping their debt a secret that it could suggest an underlying debt problem - and reminding them that there are professionals who can help. A spokesperson for the company commented:

"There are a surprising number of people with secret debts (perhaps because they simply want to deal with it themselves) but it's not always possible, or indeed advisable, to keep debt problems secret from a partner.

"If you and your partner are financially linked in any way, a secret debt could have implications for their financial future and credit record, as well as your own, so you may feel you have a duty to tell them.

"It is possible to enter into debt management or an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) on your own, even if you are married or living with a partner, and it is entirely confidential. If you have joint debt(s) with a partner, there are other options you can explore too if you both need debt advice.

"Most people keep some things secret from their partner, but keeping a debt problem secret won't make it go away. We're not here to advise people on what they should share with their partners, but we do recommend that anyone having difficulties meeting repayments seeks advice and finds out about the practical implications of keeping things from them."

Notes to Editors

The IVA Advisory Centre is a licensed Insolvency Practice offering expert debt help and advice. Many people with debt problems successfully complete an IVA, or other form of insolvency with their help.

For more information visit the IVA Advisory Centre website at http://www.ivaadvisorycentre.co.uk/.

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