4.6 million Australians have a secret debt

Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
Our authors
, updated on November 25th, 2021       

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We all have secrets, but one secret is digging 4.6 million Australians into debt. Secret spending is on the rise with people spending money on things their partner does not know about. Without being open about your secret debt, it could plunge both you and your partner into debt. Take the first step with these five tips that will help you curb your secret debt.

Australians affair with hidden debt is one of the causes of divorce

If you are in a long-term relationship or married, then being open about your financial status is vital. You have probably argued with your partner about money, but hiding your financial issues can let your debt grow like a tumour.

A survey conducted by Relationship Australia showed that financial stress was likely to cause 85% of couples to drift apart. You can start by being open and honest about your spending habits with your partner. The next step is to plan on how you plan to use your finances together to avoid falling into more debt.

Devise a budget so that every cent goes accounted for

Household debt remains high in Australia. If you are a couple that is just starting a family, this can play a huge role that is why it is important to create a realistic budget that works for the both of you. It is important that you share your views on money management and that you share the same financial goals to make sure that it works effectively.

Evaluate your current credit card

Most of the secret spending happens online, with men who are most likely to make a secret purchase compared to their female counterparts. However, not all online spending is done in secret but can still dig you into debt because of the type of credit card you have. This is the perfect time for you to re-evaluate your credit card to make sure that its interest rates and yearly fees still match the type of lifestyle you have. Swiping with the wrong card can cause more trouble. It’s always good to keep in mind that you must compare your credit card to get the best deal possible.

Consolidate your debt to manage your debt better

Unfortunately, there is no reset button you can press to undo the amount of debt you currently. However, you have the option to consolidate your credit card debt into one. This will help you roll all your debt you own on multiple credit cards into one, reduce the interest rate, and help you keep track on one payment instead of multiple.

Credit card balance transfer could be another option

This is a card that is not for the faint-hearted, but the disciplined who will be able to maximise the 0% interest period to help stabilise your debt. The best way this card can work in your favour is by paying off the balance as much as you can for each month instead of sticking to the minimum repayments. It should not be taken as a one-stop debt clearance card, but rather something that can help you reduce your debt more effectively.

The take home is to always be honest with what you can afford, and also being open with your partner about your financial status while there is still time to make things right.

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