Overwhelmingly, most couples — 92 percent — that are married or live together don’t have a secret credit card or checking and savings accounts that their partners are unaware of, according to a new poll by CreditCards.com.
But among the 7 percent who admit to this type of financial infidelity, nearly three-quarters of them are women.
Ben Woolsey, director of marketing and consumer research for CreditCards.com, says it’s not known why women are more likely to hide an account, but it could be they have a greater need for security. Or, it could be given the divorce rate in the country, they may be less optimistic about the long-term health of the relationship, Woolsey says.
Among the other findings: Men are more likely to have a secret credit card, while women are more likely to keep a closeted savings account. Woolsey notes that it’s a good idea for all consumers to have credit in their own name.
Apparently, couples don’t feel the need to divulge every penny spent. Couples seem to agree that it’s OK to spend an average of $266 without a partner’s knowledge, although CreditCards.com found that the average amount they tend to surreptitiously spend is $171.
Not suprising: unmarried couples were four-times as likely as married couples to hide an account.
“To me, that speaks to the lack of commitment,” or trying to retain a degree of personal independence, Woolsey says.
So, is it OK to withhold information -- a lie of omission -- about a bank or credit account from a live-in loved one?