Half Of Americans Say They’d Dump Their Partner For Secret Financial Debt

June 24, 2015  |  

One-in-five Americans are keeping a financial debt hush-hush from their partners — and if they’re caught, they may wind up battling this debt alone. According to a new poll, a whopping 50 percent of Americans would kick their partner out the door if a secret debt was revealed, NBC News reports.

The report, conducted by insurance site Haven Life, found that among those who would not forgive their partners for financial secrets, a staggering 70 percent would throw in the towel if the debt was $5,000 or more — that’s lower than the average credit card debt of $7,307.

According to NerdWallet, among couples with at least one indebted partner, 25 percent reported that the financial burden had a negative impact on their relationship. The most common type of debt brought into serious relationships, which was labeled as marriages, civil unions, and cohabitation, is credit card debt (35 percent), followed by car loans (25 percent) and mortgage debt (23 percent).

Among couples who say credit card debt was carried into their relationship, an average of $4,100 hovers over their heads.

The NerdWallet survey, conducted by Harris Poll, also took a look at the “faces” of financial debt. Men are more likely to bring credit card debt into a relationship (42 percent vs. 29 percent of women). And the younger you are, the more likely you are to carry debt — Millennials (ages 18-34) have the largest share of credit card debt at 45 percent.

Zooming in on race, “Hispanics are twice as likely as blacks and six times as likely as whites to carry secret debt,” NBC News said, citing Haven Life.

NerdWallet says that truthful communication is the first step to overcoming massive balances: “Before taking a relationship to the next level, get honest about your financial situation.”

In fact, according to NBC News, couples often shy away from talking about each other’s finances, which is evidenced by one-half of the survey respondents saying they refuse to talk about money until their engagement or say it should never be discussed.

“The day that you sit down with your partner and lay your finances bare is always going to be an awkward moment. But it’s necessary if you want to create a financial plan that works for both of you,” Yahoo! Finance said.

NBC News also encourages women to keep an eye out for their man’s hidden cash pile:

“Ladies, ask your man about his secret accounts: […]More than a quarter of these guys have a secret credit card and nearly 20 percent have investments stashed away.”

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