One very common situation that many of our clients find themselves in is having debts that their partners do not know about. Whether the debts built up before you met your partner, or whether the debts occurred when together, hiding something from your partner can put immense strain on your relationship. The reasons why people tend to hide their debt from their partner varies, but the outcome will always be the same – that it is always best to be open and honest with them.

I built up the debt before I met my partner, and they don’t know.

A recent study revealed that 1 in 5 single people are living on credit; this is due to their lifestyles but also the high costs of living and low income. If you have built up debt prior to meeting your partner, then you should probably be open with them from the beginning. You could sit down with your partner and explain to them that you have debts and the reason why you feel you got into debt to begin with. By doing this you will enable them to understand the situation you were in before you met them.

I am married/in a long term relationship and have built up debts since meeting them.

There are many reasons why someone, either married or in a long term relationship would obtain credit and get into debt without the knowledge of their partner. A common occurrence that I have often seen in the past is where one partner earns a lower salary than the other and struggles to keep up with them. If this is the case then perhaps you should sit down with your partner and explain to them that you don’t earn as much as they do and that you are struggling to keep up with their idea of a lifestyle. Without telling them this, they will not be aware and will carry on as they are.

Another common occurrence that I have often seen is where one partner is in charge of all of the finances and they take on the burden and take out credit to fund the family lifestyle when their income doesn’t cover it.

How do I tell my partner?

Whatever the reason for keeping your debts from your partner, if you are struggling to maintain the payments then you need to tell your partner, it doesn’t need to be because you want them to support you financially, it needs to be for them to support you as you deal with your debts. It may be embarrassing or you may fear how they react but you need to remember that your partner loves and cares for you and will support you. They may be angry initially, but you have to remember that you have kept a big secret from them so this should be understandable; you just need to give them time.

If you are struggling with debts then please call Payplan on 0800 316 1833.

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