Revealing and Tackling Hidden Debt

Merchant, consumer, or otherwise, what should you do when you think your significant other is hiding something related to your credit card or credit? You could get into some awkward, sticky social interactions with someone less familiar to you on the credit cards topics, but you think this is something you can handle on your own. Before you dive in, however, do some research and consider carefully your actions before taking them. Approaching a loved one about credit card problems or debt that will affect you both isn’t easy, but with these simple pointers, you can go about it in a way that’s kind and helpful, instead of accusatory, hurtful, or otherwise mean.

According to Financial Infidelity, written by New York therapist Bonnie Eaker Weil, 57% of people use money to control others, 37% argue about money more than sex, and 47%, whether they intend to avoid the topic because it’s uncomfortable or not, do not discuss money before marriage.

The key, according to experts, is not to let the topics of debt and finances to outweigh the meaning of your relationship, and here are a few tips to facilitate such action.

How do people hide credit card debt? People hiding credit card debt can be quite smart, so use caution if you suspect anything.

  • Some women hide credit card debt by keeping bank accounts and credit cards in a maiden name.
  • People opt for paperless bills, their e-mail statements on the problem credit card sent to an unknown e-mail account.
  • Businesspeople send hidden credit card bills to their work, instead of home.

How do you find such credit card debt? Be strategic, but remember, if you have to snoop, you should reconsider your marriage.

  • Order a credit report from a credit-checking website, using his or her social security number; whether this is a legal maneuver is another story.
  • Check their key ring for a P.O. box and the mail for P.O. Box receipts. Find the key and check the P.O. box.
  • Pay attention to the household accounts, especially grocery accounts. If more money shows up on receipts than shows up as food, that money might be paying hidden debts.

How do you confront them?

Be prepared for them to get angry with you, but remain calm, loving, and patient. Reiterate your support and caring, letting them know that you’re on their side. Then, allow the person to deal with the consequences of their credit card debt. Decide to work as a team together to tame the desire to spend money.