Secretive Brits hide mortgage debt from partners

Robyn Hall

November 21, 2012

Pru’s survey of couples, aged over 40, found that approximately 6.2 million (20%) Brits had debts they had not disclosed to their partners worth on average £9,546.

Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement expert at Prudential, said: “Having conversations about finances may take some couples out of their comfort zones but keeping money hidden from a partner could be a real barrier to long-term security.”

When Prudential asked those who admitted to having hidden debts how these debts arose 36% said they had borrowed money to cover every day living costs, 33% borrowed the money to pay off other outstanding debts such as credit card bills and 6% said the debt arose from previous travelling costs.

Other reasons for having hidden debts included overspending due to an emotional event (5%) and debts inherited from past relationships such as joint mortgages (5%).

And 4.3 million (14%) of those surveyed said they had private nest eggs of savings and/or investments worth an average of £2,004 kept secret from their other halves.

Smith-Hughes said: “Saving money whether for a rainy day or a comfortable retirement is imperative but doing it openly and honestly is the only way to ensure that savings are maximised between both partners.”

Meanwhile one in seven (14%) respondents said they did not know how much their partner earned.

Smith-Hughes added: “Having future finance conversations together is an important first step towards ensuring that you and your partner make the most of your combined funds and are in turn helping each other to secure the income and lifestyle you require in retirement.”

Sign up to our daily email