When love has gone: nearly 1 in 5 stay in relationship because they can’t afford to break up

*Nearly a fifth of people have stayed in a relationship because of financial situation

*Of these, two-fifths have stayed with partner for more than a year

*London has highest percentage of couples staying together because of finances

*Nearly one in five people in the UK say they have had to stay in a romantic relationship for longer than they wanted because they could not afford to break it off.

A new poll* conducted on behalf of debt advice and solutions provider DebtAdvisoryCentre.co.uk has found that nearly a fifth (18.9%) of adults have at some stage in their lives remained with a partner purely because of their financial situation. This is equivalent to more than 9.5 million people across the country.

Of those who have stayed in relationships for longer than they wanted to, one in five (20.1%) did so for up to three months. However, the majority stayed with a partner they no longer wanted to be with for far longer.

Worryingly, more than two-fifths (42.85%) of respondents admitted they had stayed in a relationship for a year or more after they thought it should end because their financial situation meant they didn’t feel they could leave. And a shocking quarter (24.33%) of these respondents remained in the romantic partnership for more than three years after things went stale.

Those aged between 25 and 34 years old are the most likely to remain with a partner just because of their joint finances, with nearly a third (30.7%) of this age group revealing they have done so at some point. This might be because it’s at this age that people are most likely to take their first steps on the property ladder or start a family, and it compares to less than one in 10 (8.09%) over-55s who have done the same.

London has the highest proportion of couples admitting they have stayed together for the finances – and little else. More than a third (35.6%) of respondents in the capital revealed they have remained in a relationship for just this reason in the past, compared to just one in 10 (11.8%) people in the West Midlands.

Spokesman for Debt Advisory Centre Ian Williams says: “It’s shocking to hear that so many people feel forced to stay in a relationship for longer than they want to because of their finances, but it’s perhaps not that surprising. It’s tough to end the bonds we create in a relationship, and financial ties can often be the hardest to break.

“Joint debts, mortgages or rent and childcare costs all play a part in people choosing to stay in a relationship when love breaks down, if they think they’d be unable to afford these costs alone. Data for Debt Advisory Centre** last year revealed 12% of people seeking debt help did so as a result of a relationship break-up.

“If finances start to spiral out of control when a relationship ends, the sooner people seek help with their debts, the sooner they can start to work towards getting back in control of their money.”

*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over, of whom 500 were Scottish residents. Figures have been extrapolated to fit ONS 2013 population projections of 50,371,000 UK adults.

** Consumer Intelligence research carried out a survey of a representative sample of 2,202 UK adults.


About Debt Advisory Centre

Debt Advisory Centre is a trading style of Gregory Pennington Limited, which is part of Think Money Group. The Group offers debt solutions from leading providers Gregory Pennington (debt management plans), Freeman Jones (IVAs) and Wilson Andrews (Scottish solutions including Trust Deeds and the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)). As one of just 11 competent authorities nationwide, the Group is also able to offer Debt Relief Orders (DROs).

Established in 1993, the Group employs over 1,000 staff today. It has helped hundreds of thousands of people tackle their debt problems – and is currently helping over 70,000 customers get out of debt.

Gregory Pennington is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in respect of consumer-credit related activities.

Gregory Pennington was a founder member of DEMSA, the Debt Managers Standards Association, whose aim is ‘to encourage the highest standards within the Debt Management Industry’. Fully committed to adopting the recently released Debt Management Plan Protocol, the company remains a DEMSA member today.

A certified Investor in People, Think Money Group has made the Sunday Times’ Best Companies To Work For list in each of the past eight years. It has also been awarded accreditation by the National Skills Academy for Financial Services – ‘in recognition of their excellent in-house training provision’.

For more information, visit the Debt Advisory Centre website at www.debtadvisorycentre.co.uk.