Many couples find it difficult to talk about their financial affairs, including debt levels with each other, new research has revealed. 

According to the study from Direct Line Life Insurance, 8.3 million (16%) Brits have debts their partner knows nothing about.

In fact, over 460,000 people wouldn’t have even started a relationship with their current partner if they had been aware of their financial position when they started dating.

The majority of hidden debts are on credit cards, with 5.6 million Brits owing an average of £2,109 that their partner doesn’t know about. The other debts mostly likely to be hidden are personal loans, which 2.6 million Brits haven’t told their partner about and car payments (2.5 million). In a move likely to cause huge acrimony if it were ever to be revealed, 1.4 million Brits have outstanding child support payments they have hidden from their current partner, at an average of £748.

Brits justify hiding debts from their partner, with 29% of those in this position claiming they are trying to pay off the money owed so don’t need to tell them, and 17% say they hide the money they owe to avoid arguments.

Married Brits who have hidden debts are even more likely to not disclose debts (30%) to avoid arguments, with 38% saying they don’t think it is any of their partner’s business. For six per cent of married Brits who have hidden debts, it is the fear their partner would leave them if they revealed their debt that causes them to keep it under wraps.

The research also reveals that married Brits are extremely uncomfortable discussing their finances with their spouse. Married people said they would rather discuss their political beliefs (61%) and even their ‘discriminatory views’ (30%) than their current financial situation.

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