Financial health is one of the biggest issues 20% of Canadians keep from their significant others, according to the latest study by Rates.ca.
The study found that the so-called financial infidelity is more common in Canadians who are dating or engaged.
How do Canadians commit financial infidelity? One in three said they hide purchases they make from their partners. Almost one-third also conceal their poor credit ratings.
Roughly 21% said their partners are not aware that they have hidden cash. There are also Canadians who hide their bank accounts (14%) and lines of credit or long-term loans (10%) from their partners.
"Hiding a poor credit score or a large sum of debt can have consequences in the future. Especially for partners buying their first home or financing a car. Being transparent and taking the right steps to manage debt or correct poor credit can prevent disappointment and further financial woes," said Sara Kesheh, vice president for money at Rates.ca.
Amongst those who commit financial infidelity, around half believe nothing significant would happen if their partners discover what they are hiding. However, Kesheh said it is crucial for couples to talk about finances, particularly if there are concerns about debt.
"Working as a team to manage the debt can help pay down the principal faster and accrue less interest on the balance. That won't be an option for everyone; however, ignoring the debt could turn a small problem into a big one," she said.
To avoid disagreements over money, Kesheh said couples should try to track their spending to form an accurate budget.
"Be aware of how much income is coming in versus how much money is being spent. From there, pinpoint areas where you can cut back and create a plan for paying off the debt," she said.
For those who suspect that their partners are hiding something, Kesheh said the two most important things are to be patient and to be supportive.