Brits harbour £50billion secret debt

Brits harbour £50billion secret debt

29 November 2009 / by Rachael Stiles

Brits have £50million of debt which they are hiding from their families and friends, with almost a quarter concealing how much they owe on credit cards, loans and other forms of debt.

The average hidden debt of UK adults is more than £4,000, research from AXA has found, amounting to a potential total debt of £50.1billion.

Their financial situation, including debts, is the third most likely thing for Brits to lie about, the research also found, with 40 per cent of people admitting concealing the truth about their finances from partner or family, with those aged 19 to 30 being the most likely to lie about being in debt, but those aged 36-50 have higher levels of hidden debt.

When asked why they conceal their debts, 31 per cent of respondents said that they are embarrassed by how much they owe, 23 per cent are afraid of how their loved ones will react, and 21 per cent have hidden it because it has become out of control.

A significant proportion of people – 14 per cent – said that they did not even realise how much total debt they had accumulated.

Alison Green, spokesperson for AXA, said: "The important thing is for people to take control of their finances and get the help and the support they need. The first step of which is taking stock of their debt and sharing this with the people in their lives."

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