Telling your partner about your debt
If you’re in a serious relationship – especially if you’re married, living together or considering it – then you should let your partner know about your debt as soon as possible. It can be difficult to admit to your partner that you’ve been struggling. However, if you’re feeling stressed, it’s possible that they already know something’s not right.
Talking about debt can stir up a whole mixture of negative feelings. However, keeping it from your partner could make your life more stressful. That stress can then show up in your life in the form of arguments, a lack of communication, and mental health issues such as anxiety or depression.
Making your partner aware of your debt problem is likely to be uncomfortable, but not telling them could be seen as a breach of trust which could damage your long-term relationship.
For example, if you have a joint account with your partner, then their credit file will be affected by any missed or reduced payments you’re making towards your other debts. If they apply for a credit card or other financial product at some point, these reduced payments may be reflected on their credit file.
If you’ve decided to talk to your partner about your debts:
Reassure them that you’re dealing with the problem. Tell them that you’re seeking help from a free and confidential debt advice charity.
Tell them that you’re making progress. If you’re on a debt solution, then you’re moving closer to your goal of paying off your debt. Any reduced payment you’re making will still be acknowledged on your credit file. This means that your credit file is being repaired over time. Make your partner aware of this. It’s important that they know the problems you’re facing won’t be around forever.
Ask them to work with you to make things easier. If you share the household expenses, is there something your partner could do to take some of the pressure off of you? They could do this by:
- Reducing some of their outgoings
- Cutting back on things such as cigarettes, leisure costs or takeaways
- Looking at bills that could be reduced, such as utilities or mobile phone contracts
It’s important that you feel safe when discussing debt with your partner. If you’re worried that telling your partner about your debt may put you in danger, then please seek advice from an organisation such as the National Domestic Violence Helpline.