A survey has revealed that nearly half of Scots are hiding their debt from friends and family.
The study also revealed that Scottish households are part of the UK’s £96 billion debt problem.
However, according to one organisation, 44% of those who questioned admitted to hiding their debt problems from family and friends.
The average amount of this hidden debt is £4,164 per person – but for Scots, it is £5,041.
The survey was undertaken to help boost people’s financial well-being and their money management skills.
Partner does not know about the debts
Also, 29% of those in debt who responded said their partner does not know about the debts they have.
In addition, 5% say their partner is completely unaware of any debts.
Researchers say that women are more likely to talk about their debts with their friends than men are.
Indeed, the survey highlights that Scots would find it easier to talk about religion and politics than they would money matters.
The most likely source of this hidden debt is said to be credit cards, followed by personal loans and overdrafts.
Common type of hidden debt
However, another common type of hidden debt is for informal loans that have been made by loved ones.
A spokeswoman for the organisation said: “Sharing the problem is the first step towards solving it.”
She added: “Debt can be a difficult topic to deal with, particularly if you have fallen into a debt spiral, with no idea of how to get out of it. Sometimes it’s easier to pretend that everything is all right, rather than opening up about our debt issues to escape that type of conversation.”
Despite this, many Scots struggling with debt told researchers that they do not want to be a burden with their financial issues to other people.
The issue of debt is causing sleepless nights for those in Scotland aged between 18 and 34 because they worry about their amount of hidden debt.
Undertaking a Scottish trust deed
For Scots who struggle with debts, then there is the potential of undertaking a Scottish trust deed to help resolve the situation.
With a trust deed, it’s possible to repay at a lower amount which will be an amount you can afford.
This is a legal agreement that will run up to 48 months and any debt that remains when it ends is written off.
There are various criteria that must be met before signing up to a trust deed and the friendly team at Scotland’s Trust Deed will be able to explain more – and there’s a debt calculator on their website to see what potential options are available.
These may include sequestration and the potential of a debt arrangement scheme, which runs along similar lines to a trust deed and is organised by the Scottish government.
Scotland’s Trust Deed team
For more help and information about dealing with debt, then it’s important that you speak with someone and Scotland’s Trust Deed team offer impartial and helpful advice.