Surveys Show How Debt Weighs on Romance

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If you put off talking about personal finances for too long, you could find your debt is a romantic deal-breaker, new surveys reveal.

Money remains a leading cause of stress in romantic relationships, according to surveys released ahead of Valentine’s Day.

But that doesn’t mean you should avoid discussing finances, they say.

In a Country Financial Security Index Survey called “‘Til Debt Due Us Part,” more than 9 in 10 of the 1,000 respondents told the insurance company it is important to discuss finances with their significant others.

About 7 in 10 surveyed said they prefer to start conversations about personal finances within the first few months of a relationship or sooner. Joe Buhrmann, manager of financial security at Country Financial, says in a press release:

“If you haven’t discussed money with your valentine, consider starting the conversation sooner rather than later. Talking about finances as your relationship is budding can help quell financial quarrels down the road.”

Millennials in the survey were more accepting of a significant other’s debt level. Nearly 2 in 3 said they would rather date a college graduate with significant student loan debt than someone who doesn’t hold a college degree.

Also, 2 in 3 millennials were concerned with their love interest’s debt, compared to nearly 8 in 10 of the general population. Almost 9 in 10 Americans over age 65 believe a significant other’s debt should cause concern for someone who is single and dating.

While money management isn’t the greatest first-date topic, financial compatibility is a key ingredient in building a lasting romantic relationship, says a GoBankingRates.com survey about financial deal breakers.

More than 5,000 people responded to the question, “Which of the following are the most significant financial deal breakers for you in a relationship?”

Their answer choices:

  • Overspending: 37.6 percent
  • Secretive about finances: 35.9 percent
  • Too much debt: 32.6 percent
  • Too cheap: 19.8 percent
  • Poor credit: 18.2 percent
  • Doesn’t make enough money: 13.9 percent

“The biggest three financial deal breakers are about equally important to Americans — spending habits, debt and financial honesty,” says Elyssa Kirkham, the lead GOBankingRates reporter about the study. “These are things that the partner has direct control over and can readily change, but if left unaddressed, can cause some of the biggest issues in a relationship.”

If you need to get your spouse on board with a savings plan, see our tips here.

How does money affect your relationship? Sound off in our Forums. It’s the place where you can speak your mind, explore topics in-depth, and post questions and get answers.

Stacy Johnson

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