If you have been hiding your debt from a partner during the Coronavirus pandemic, you are not alone.
Even before the Covid-19 outbreak, many people across Scotland had been hiding personal debts problems from their partners.
In 2017, relationship charity Relate said that an estimated 14% of people are hiding a debt problem from their partner.
The same report found that 25% of the respondents would typically argue with one another about debt and other financial issues at least once in a fortnight.
In 2018, a report by the Money Advice Service found that 44% of a poll of 4,000 people were keeping their debt a secret and that the average debt being hidden was over £4,164. Credit card debts, personal loans and bank overdrafts are the most common types of debts that we hide from our partners with almost 48% hiding at least one credit card debt from their partner.
Are You Hiding Debts From Partners During Coronavirus?
It’s actually quite common for people to successfully complete a whole Trust Deed term of 48 months or finish their Debt Arrangement Scheme without ever telling their partner about their debt issues. Although Trust Deed Scotland would usually advise against hiding debt from your partner.
Hiding a debt problem from our friends and family is more manageable when we are operating under normal circumstances however, the effects of self-isolation during Coronavirus mean that most of us are spending more time together, finding less time for ourselves and finding it more difficult to ‘nip out to make a quick phone call’
Trust Deed Scotland, Scotland’s leading debt advice company has been continuing to provide assistance to individuals in Scotland struggling with debt during the crisis and found that many people are continuing to hide debts from their loved one, even under stricter lockdown conditions.
Hiding your debts under a heightened stressful situation such as the Coronavirus may prevent you from seeking help – it may also prevent you from attaining a mortgage payment break, or credit card payment breaks due to the fear of your partner finding out about the total debt you have and the perceived fear of a backlash as a result.
If this is the way you are feeling, we would recommend that you get in touch with an expert debt advisor as soon as possible, in order to find out what your options are. All advice is offered by qualified experts and it’s always confidential.
Why Do People Hide Debts?
There are many reasons why people in Scotland might choose to hide unaffordable debts from the people closest to them. Those reasons may include guilt, embarrassment or not wanting to burden their partner with stress.
Sometimes the reasons for hiding debt could be more serious. E.g. as the result of gambling debts or other addictions. In these instances, hiding debts is only part of a bigger problem and means the causes of debt are less likely to be solved.
Domestic Violence Fears
On some occasions, people also hide debts from their partners for fear of domestic violence. If you have experienced domestic abuse during the Coronavirus pandemic, or at any other time – we recommend that you look at the Safer Scot website. It is a Scottish Government priority to ensure that anyone who is a victim of domestic violence gets access to the support services they need during these unprecedented times.
Scottish Women’s Aid is operating a 24-hour helpline during the crisis, with support being offered by webchat and email as well.
Scottish Women’s Aid and Police Scotland have said officers would treat domestic abuse cases with the same seriousness as they did before the pandemic, and that victims could still leave their homes to seek refuge.
Another aspect of domestic abuse is known as financial abuse. This is a term used to describe cases where a partner or family member exerts excessive financial control, harm or exploitation of another. Victims find this difficult to talk to their friends and family about this, and financial institutions often fail to acknowledge financial abuse, according to the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Domestic violence has reportedly increased 120% since the introduction of lockdown measures.
Why You Shouldn’t Hide Debts From Your Partner
Having debt is a burden on our minds that carries extra weight and the stigma of having debt often makes people attempt to struggle on alone.
Opening up about our debts and talking to us closest to us can help take some of that stress away immediately. It’s even possible that a partner, or family member can help pay off the debt, or a chunk of it that will enable you to get back on your feet.
Or more commonly, you can work together to resolve outgoings by spending less each month on the items that are non-essential.
However, talking about our debts creates more trust in our relationships, provides fewer secrets and above all else, a sympathetic, friendly ear that can listen to your issues and give you extra security in sharing an issue.
Where you still feel this isn’t an option – you can approach a charity such as Breathing Space. Trust Deed Scotland
Why You Shouldn’t Lie About Your Debts
Admitting your debt issues doesn’t make you a weak person. The opposite in fact – it means you’re willing to tackle the problem head-on rather than hide from it.
Many of the independent debt advice reviews received about Trust Deed Scotland talk about these exact same issues that prevented our clients from seeking helped and we would often encourage opening up to your family and friends about your financial difficulties.
Whether you simply created debts due to excessive charges from credit card debts and unaffordable personal loans – lying about debts to those closest to you is never recommended – the stress of having debts in itself can be unbearable but adding extra pressure on yourself by being deceitful in any relationship can add to that burden.
Opening Up About your debt to your loved ones
As a company that has helped over 20,000 look forward to life after debt, Trust Deed Scotland have spoken to many people from all walks of life.
Of all the five star debt advice reviews that we receive, more and more people are saying that they’ve made an enquiry with us due to a recommendation from a friend, or family member.
When people openly discuss their debt issues and signpost reputable sources of debt advice, it helps to dispel the taboo people have about debt itself and then encourages more people to seek help about their own situation.
Unaffordable debt issues happen to the best of us
Debt issues most often occur as a direct result of a change in circumstances. Long-term redundancy, sudden health issues. Relationship issues among the many reasons. Even just spending that spired out of control.
It’s very rarely intentional but once debt gets to the stage where it becomes unaffordable, this is where people begin to feel embarrassed and ashamed at getting into the situation.
I’m worried about my unaffordable debt, what should I do?
If you’re worried about your ability to pay off your unaffordable, unsecured debts you should seek expert debt advice.
Our team of Scottish debt specialists at Trust Deed Scotland® have helped over 20,000 people in Scotland with their debt problems. Our expert, non-judgemental advice is personalised to your situation.