“Roses are red. And debt is too. But if you owe too much money, I’m not dating you.”
Sadly, that’s how a lot of finance-conscious Americans feel about romance in 2018.
Given that many people are finally getting back on their feet after the Great Recession and now looking at an eerily familiar sight of a stock market gripped by turbulence, it’s probably understandable. More than 77% of people consider credit-card debt unattractive, according to a survey released earlier this year by personal-finance site Finder.com. On average, people say $11,525 in credit-card debt is enough of a red flag to swipe left or walk away.
Payday loans, which can have astronomical interest rates as high as 400%, are the second most unacceptable forms of debt for daters. As such, it only takes a payday loan of $1,830 to turn off a potential partner. Surprisingly, given that Americans carry $1.4 trillion in student debt, student loans are also off-putting to prospective dates and, on average, anything above $51,000 could be a deal-breaker. That’s considerably higher than the average student debt balance of $37,000.
Millennials are the least tolerant of student loans: Over 80% consider it unacceptable in a partner, followed by credit-card debt and payday loans. Generation X-ers appear to be the most tolerant generation when it comes to debt of any form, although payday loans sit highest for most unacceptable (75% find them a turn off), followed by credit card debt and student loans. With the exception of student loans, baby boomers considered all kinds of debt unacceptable.
What people do and say in the early days of dating might have an impact later on. People are combining their finances when they marry, after all, and that can impact their future happiness. In fact, the higher your credit score, the less likely you’ll separate from your partner. More than half of Americans (58%) said they wouldn’t marry someone with significant debt, according to a separate study released last year by legal industry site Avvo.
And for those who marry someone with bad credit, high debts and a reckless attitude to money?
It can be detrimental to their own financial future and, ultimately, lead to discord in their marriage.
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