Survey bares numbers behind prevalence, amount, and types of financial infidelity in Canada
The decision to not be financially open with your spouse or significant other can have serious and potentially life-altering consequences. But as a new survey suggests, Canadians in committed relationships are leaving themselves open to the risks of financial infidelity.
According to the Cost of Love survey conducted by Rates.ca, 16% of Canadians in committed relationships hide financial secrets from their partners, including hidden cash, accounts, and debt. Among those secret-keepers, nearly half (47%) said their financial secret amounts to $1,000 or more, while 17% said theirs was worth at least $10,000.
The incidence of infidelity was notably high among millennials aged 18 to 34 at 29%; among all respondents, men were found to be more likely than women to lie about money (19% vs. 13%). Canadians who are dating (23%) or engaged (24%) were also more likely to hide financial secrets than those who were separated or married (14% for both groups).
The survey found that Canadians who withhold financial details from their partners have different types of secrets, including:
- Purchases (31%);
- A poor credit score (28%);
- Hidden cash (21%);
- Secret bank account (14%);
- Secret line of credit or long-term loan (10%);
- Secret credit card (8%);
- Secret investments (9%); and
- Secret payday loan (5%)
When asked what they think the consequences would be if their financial secrets were discovered, 50% said that nothing would happen. Just over a fifth said they’d fight and find a solution (22%) or don’t know what would happen (21%). Only 2% felt that it would lead to a break-up, and 1% predicted divorce.
Fighting and finding a solution was more common as a response among respondents who are married (23%) or dating (22%) than among those separated (6%) or engaged (13%). And while Canadians aged 44 and over were the least likely age group to cite that result (14%), they were also the most likely to say that nothing would happen (56%).
“Hiding a poor credit score or a large sum of debt can have consequences in the future, especially for partners buying their first home or financing a car,” said Sara Kesheh, vice president, Money, Rates.ca. “Being transparent and taking the right steps to manage debt or correct poor credit can prevent disappointment and further financial woes.”