How can I tell my partner I’m in debt?

December 17, 2018

Being in debt can be a huge burden that affects every part of your life, but one of the most difficult aspects is when you’re in a relationship, as it can be very difficult to tell your partner about your debts.

According to research by relationship charity, Relate, one in seven adults in Great Britain have hidden debt from their partner, with 46% of those surveyed stating they were worried about how their partner would react.¹

So how can you tell your partner you’re in debt? Knowing the facts about how it might affect them could help, as would taking positive action to improve your situation.

Why you should tell your partner you’re in debt

  • Many people in the UK have debts, but they can build up almost unnoticed over time. If you start to receive letters from creditors threatening legal action it can take a toll on your health. Moral and emotional support from your partner in this situation is invaluable, and can improve the outcome considerably.
  • If your relationship develops to the point where you’re considering joint loans or a mortgage, your partner will find out about your debts anyway. The lender will carry out investigations into your ability to repay, and will need to see a detailed list of all your outgoings.
  • If you don’t tell your partner about your debts, it could cause tension in the relationship as you struggle to deal with the problem on your own.

What to tell your partner in relation to your debts

When you tell your partner about your debts, it’s a good idea to show them all your financial documentation including credit card and bank statements, loan information, and a copy of your credit file.

This allows them to see the full situation including how much money you owe and to whom, and whether you’re facing legal action if you’ve fallen into arrears. Your partner will also need to know the reasons why you’re in debt, and any plans to deal with it.

When you tell your partner

It’s advisable to choose a time when there are no plans for the day, and you can take the time needed to explain everything. You may choose to write a letter to tell them what has happened, and then discuss the situation with your partner.

This can help to get your thoughts in order, and allows your partner a little space to absorb the information before talking to you. Whether or not you’ve fallen behind with repayments,  telling your partner won’t be easy. By doing so, however, you can relieve some of the burden you’re under and move forward positively towards a solution.

If you would like more information on dealing with debt, Scotland Debt Solutions can help. We’ll provide independent and trustworthy advice on your best options, and ensure you have a workable financial plan for the future. Call one of the team to arrange a free same-day meeting – we have five offices located around Scotland.

John Baird

Insolvency Adviser

Tel: 0800 063 9250

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