Is your significant other having a torrid affair with secret debt? Don’t be the last to know.
8 Red Flags of Financial Infidelity
Nobody likes a cheater, especially when it comes to love or money. When one person in a couple combines finances with secrecy and lies, you’ve got a recipe for trouble in your marriage or relationship.
But how can you tell when your spouse or significant other has a pair of secret credit cards or some cheap floozy of a loan on the side? Fortunately, the signs are there if you know where to look.
Click or swipe through to get the scoop on 8 red flags that can signal financial infidelity...
Want to keep up with more financial news? Click here to sign up for our free newsletter.
1. Refusing to talk about credit cards, debt and personal finance
A financial cheater stonewalls all talk of money because that could lead to questions that he or she doesn’t want to answer. For example, if he doesn’t want to discuss how much credit card debt he has or she refuses to disclose her total student loan debt, those amounts are probably beyond your financial comfort zone.
Other topics financial philanderers hate to talk about include bank accounts, credit scores, shopping habits and saving money as a couple for a large purchase.
2. Guarding the mailbox
Does your girlfriend leap on the mail like a Bulldog on a chicken bone when she hears letters drop in the slot? Does your husband race home for lunch every day so he can snag the mail first? If so, your beloved may not be simply trying to get an early jump on the grocery store circular.
When someone has secret credit cards and loans, the last thing that person wants is for you to stumble onto undisclosed credit card statements, past-due notices or concealed loans.
3. Refusing to divulge credit report information
Someone with good credit shouldn’t have a problem reviewing his or her credit report with a spouse when the couple plans to buy a home, have a baby or plan a financial future. On the other hand, a person with something to hide doesn’t want you to discover his or her credit secrets.
What kind of secrets? A credit report shows all credit and loan accounts and balances, including ones you may not even know existed. The report also reveals whether your partner has a deadbeat past that includes foreclosure, eviction, judgments, late payments, and unpaid bills.
4. Indulging in addictive behaviors
A person with addictions such as gambling, shopping, drugs or alcohol can blow through a lot of money fast. When that money is gone, an addict needs to find new money sources. That’s where financial infidelity steps in.
Watch for ATM withdrawals from joint checking or savings accounts and excessive online or other shopping purchases. If you can grab the mail before your main squeeze snags it, look for mystery credit card and other statements.
5. Rushing home to hide online shopping deliveries
Did you come home for lunch unexpectedly to find your wife unpacking a big Zappos box when she was supposed to be at work? Did you call in sick but had to get out of bed to sign for delivery of the newest electronic device that you and your husband agreed your budget couldn’t afford? If so, there’s insufficient fun looming on the relationship horizon.
Shopping addictions make people do crazy things like order stuff they don’t need and can’t afford and then rush home to hide the evidence, so their partner knows nothing about their secret purchases.
6. Hiding credit card statements
Did you happen onto your partner’s secret stash of credit card statements for cards you knew nothing about? That’s a big red flag of financial infidelity. Worse yet, those cards could all be charged to the maximum credit limit.
If you’re planning to buy a house together, get married or make a huge purchase as a couple, hidden debt can be a problem later, especially when it causes money to be tight.
7. Taking out secret loans
There’s nothing worse than driving past a payday loan store and spying your boyfriend slinking out the door with check in hand. Oh, wait, there is one thing worse: The statement you find beneath your wife’s car seat for a secret $15,000 loan from a shady, high-interest lender.
If you find out about one secret loan, get ready to discover others. Financial cheaters love to take out loans to pay off all their other secret loans.
8. Buying new clothes, new car, new everything
If you’ve budgeted as a couple on a tight income but your husband or wife dresses like a magazine model, has all the latest electronic devices and dines out regularly, he or she could have a few maxed-out credit cards you know nothing about.
If your significant other lives a lavish lifestyle while you limp along on a cracked smartphone until it’s time for an upgrade, it may also be time to trade up in your relationship – to someone who knows how to be financially faithful.
David Auten from debtfreeguys.com: The topic of money is not a sexy topic or an endearing topic. Especially when you hold on to or have some inhibitions or fears, or you’re actually hiding something.
Shani Curry, purseempowerment.com: What I see more than the infidelity is probably more financial divorce. So you’ll have people that are inside of a marriage that is operating very separately with their money. So you don’t even have the opportunity to cheat, because they have already got a feel for your habits, how you relate to money, and decided to have a financial separation.
Bethany Bayless, bethanybayless.org: So we do a lot of work with the military especially, and there are times when military members are on deployment and it’s a really difficult time for spouses back at home. And one of the biggest ways they can cope with that is with retail therapy.
Tracie Fobes, pennypinchinmom.com: It’s that stay-at-home-mom standpoint that she’s filling a void. She doesn’t have that social interaction. She’s looking for and she’s trying to fill something that’s missing on a personal level with stuff.
Published by Debt.com, LLC