19% Of UK consumers would never tell their partner about their debt

Londoners and Yorkshire and Humberside residents are the most secretive about their debt

Almost one fifth (19%) of UK consumers would never tell their partner about their debts, according to research1 commissioned by credit information provider, Equifax.

The study gives an insight into the most honest regions of the UK and reveals that nearly a quarter (24%) of Londoners and people from Yorkshire and Humberside are most likely to keep their debt from their partner a secret. In contrast, individuals in the East Midlands seem to be more open; with only 13% saying they would never disclose the full details of their debts to their partners.

It seems that the early stages of a relationship – after just one to three months – can be the time to tell all for over a third (38%) of those living In the North East. But only a quarter of those living in the East Midlands would do the same. And while a third (33%) of Scots would share their debt secrets with their partner after just three months, nearly 1 in 5 (18%) of Scots would never tell a partner about their debt.

Debt Secrets stay secret for life!
Percentage of individuals who would never tell their partner about their debt situation
Region %
Yorkshire and the Humber 24
London 24
West Midlands 23
Wales 22
East Anglia 19
Scotland 18
North East 15
North West 15
South East 15
South West 15
East Midlands 13

When it comes to managing their finances, 14% of those living in the East Midlands admitted to impulse purchases, even though it would push them into their overdraft. 13% of those living in the North East and 10% in London said the same, compared to just 3% in Wales and Northern Ireland. In contrast 61% of people in the South West say they never get into debt for the latest gadget or fashion accessory.

Asking for advice on debt management is clearly hard for most people. A staggering 80% of people in Wales have never asked family, friends or an organisation for debt advice, followed by 75% in the South West and 74% in Scotland and the North West.

Lisa Hardstaff, credit information expert at Equifax, comments: "It’s clear from this study that debt can be a tricky subject for people to talk about. But it’s important for couples to be open about their financial situation. Keeping debt a secret, could lead to it getting out of hand or putting added strain on the individual and potentially the relationship.

"There are simple steps people can take to manage their finances and debt. Rather than burying their head in the sand, consumers should take stock of their finances to gain a clear picture of where their money is going and their financial commitments. This will put them in a better position to understand and manage their finances and their debt more effectively."

1 Survey of 2,000 UK consumers conducted by Gorkana on behalf of Equifax, November 2018


For further press information, please contact: Clare Watson, Cecile Stearn, Parm Heer or Wendy Harrison at HSL on 020 8977 9132 / Fax: 020 8977 5200 or Email: equifaxbtocteam@harrisonsadler.com

About Equifax

Equifax Inc. (Equifax) is a global information solutions company that uses unique data, innovative analytics, technology and industry expertise to power organizations and individuals around the world by transforming knowledge into insights that help make more informed business and personal decisions.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., Equifax operates or has investments in 24 countries in North America, Central and South America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. It is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500® Index, and its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. Equifax employs 10,400 employees worldwide.

Equifax Limited is one of the Equifax group companies based in the UK.

Equifax Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.