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    Money Advice Service
    Have you ever hidden a debt from your family?
    • #1
    • 9th Nov 18, 1:58 PM
    Have you ever hidden a debt from your family? 9th Nov 18 at 1:58 PM
    How did you deal with it? How did you talk to your family about it? What tips do you have for others who are hiding debt?

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    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 10th Nov 18, 9:08 AM
    • 231 Posts
    • 723 Thanks
    worriedDan
    • #2
    • 10th Nov 18, 9:08 AM
    • #2
    • 10th Nov 18, 9:08 AM
    I didn't necessarily hide the debt, however as the one who looked after the finances, I was becoming increasingly aware that my wife wasn't aware of our actual debt levels. I worried myself to death, making myself really ill and feeling as though I had failed.

    This all came to a head last year and for the first time we started to talk about the debt. She hadn't realised how much we owed ( near to 60K), however there was never any blame placed solely on me.

    I think that there are lot of people in this situation, with one member of the couple dealing with money and the other not really being aware/interested.

    My advice to any couple would be to make sure that you are open about finances from the moment you start living together. We have monthly money chats now. We discuss anything that needs to be discussed, and then we move on.
    • Vikipollard
    • By Vikipollard 11th Nov 18, 1:04 PM
    • 639 Posts
    • 1,125 Thanks
    Vikipollard
    • #3
    • 11th Nov 18, 1:04 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Nov 18, 1:04 PM
    Marriage breakdown, left the house with two pictures and jewellery box, and somehow I felt that there was an expectation I'd just be able to afford things. The reality was I had a credit card - and overnight they doubled my credit limit from 5000 to 10000 without me asking them to (and at a point I was approaching my limit). I thought all my birthdays had come at once.

    All it did was delay the inevitable. Spiral of consolidation loans and running up the card again, just on basics. A year later, I'm almost 20k in debt on a 9k salary and out of options. Fortunately I'd never heard of payday loans. My new partner knew none of this, though the fact that I perpetually avoided answering the "spam" phone calls was a red flag. Thankfully, the mortgage was in his name only.

    I contacted a company and an IVA was suggested as the best way forward. The difficulty was I'd have to tell my OH. So the next day, a Wednesday in July 2006, as we had lunch together I told him. He went apesh*t. We were to separate - not because of the debt, because of the deceit.

    By the time I got back to work, he'd calmed down enough to say we'd sit down later and work through joint finances. I won't say he was supportive on the emotional roller coaster - he absolutely wasn't, though he did acknowledge that he should have realised something was wrong as he knew how much I earned. We set a strict budget, and I had to manage it or we didn't eat. It was a much stricter budget than the IVA set, but I managed to save - initially 90 a month, up to 400 by the end of the IVA.

    There were times when I had pence left in the run up to payday, but I can honestly say I've never been overdrawn or had a credit card since. We just went without the things I might've been tempted to shove on a credit card. 12 years and counting. I have had one loan (that he knew about and encouraged) for a replacement car. That was paid off early.

    Do I wish I'd told him earlier? Of course I do, but hindsight is a wonderful thing. My advice would be to tell them as soon as possible. In an ideal world this would be before the walls come crashing down, but do you know what - if they are crumbling then tell them anyway. Keeping quiet won't stop the collapse and will actually do more damage.
    LBM July 2006. Debt free 01 Sept 12 ..
    Finally joined Slimming World: weight loss 33lbs...target achieved 51wks later 06.05.13 & still there
    Aim to be mortgage free in 2022. Jan 17 33250, Nov 17 27066 Mar 18 24498 Sep 18 20608 Nov 18 19250
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