Millennials in a romantic relationship would be advised to be totally open and honest about all financial matters. Keeping secrets, a new survey shows, could mean big trouble.
TD Bank’s 5th annual Love and Money Survey shows 31 percent of millennials would consider breaking off a relationship with a partner who was hiding debt or a bad credit score. The pollsters talked to consumers who are married, in a committed relationship, or divorced.
Despite the insistence on financial openness, the survey found that 27 percent of millennials are currently keeping a financial secret from their partner, more than any other generation. Nearly half of that 27 percent is hiding credit card debt.
Older generations are also keeping secrets. Among the silent generation and baby boomers, a financial secret is most likely to involve a bank account the partner doesn’t know about.
"It's important that couples are honest and open about their money challenges,” said Rachel DeAlto, relationship expert, coach, and television personality. “Oftentimes a partner will hide a credit card bill or low score due to guilt or embarrassment, yet when the debt comes to light it's often not the debt that creates the conflict - it's the secrecy."
Keeping money secrets from a significant other is often called “financial infidelity.” A recent survey by CreditCards.com found it happens quite a lot, and many consider it to be just as serious as sexual cheating.
That survey found that about 19 percent of people in a relationship are hiding some kind of financial account from their partner.
Millennials, at least, are talking more about money issues. The survey found communication about finances has increased among millennials more than other generations over the last four years. Today, 94 percent of millennial couples discuss money at least once a week.
Of course, talking about money is not always productive. Millennials are still more likely than other generations to argue about money.