Would You Date Someone With Debt?

valentines dayTo some, bringing up the topic of debts conjures feelings of shame, denial, and a sense of intrusion into one’s personal space or even resentment. To others it may be a neutral topic. One that is well received without reservation or apprehension. Why do we respond differently to the same question? I have no idea. I am not a psychologists, but the stark difference in how topics surrounding money are dealt with in relationships, especially debt, has to make you wonder. What are we really afraid off?

So maybe the question is not that simple. Maybe this is an impregnated question. Would you date someone with debt? What type of debt is acceptable and what type of debt is not? How much debt is too much debt?

Is student loan debt and mortgage debt acceptable, but not credit card or line of credit debt? What if the person is house poor, or creeping up to six figures in student loan debt? Is someone that has a large credit card balance seen differently than someone that owes a whack load in student loans? Is this a good debt versus bad debt conversation, and if so, at what point does the distinction not make a difference.

I think the response to these questions are as unique as the people that ask and answer them. Let me share with you my perspective.

For those of you that read the About page of my blog, you know that I have not always been the smartest person with money. I will be the first to admit, but I have also learned a lot as well. Every relationship starts differently, and this may also impact how you view each others finances. For example, both my husband and I met while we were in university so we were both broke students, accumulating debt while trying to increase our future incomes through education. We both graduated with a substantial amount of student loan debt ($64,000 and $46, 0000 respectively). We both had to accept our accomplishments and our shortfalls in the way we manage our money up to this point.

So would I date someone with debt? Yes, I would. I have. I got married when I was deeply in debt and it has made no major difference in our relationship and the way we treat each other. Here’s why:

  • We have no problem talking about our finances openly to each other. Even as broke college students living separately while dating each other, we were an open book  about our money situation. This behaviour has continued even till today. We have been together 9 years.
  • When we decided to get rid of the $120,000 debt in 2.5 years it was a collective agreement and effort. When we got married, so did our money. I know everyone has differing views on this, but this is what worked for us. I no longer had $64,000 in student debt, but now inherited $120,000 of student debt, and vice versa.
  • We both had a common goal. Which was getting out of student loan debt as quickly as possible. Without this common goal, not even the best of intentions could have made it happen.
  • Money is not the end all and be all of our relationship. Do we have disagreements about money, yes, but does it control our lives, no. For the major topics that surround money we are generally on the same page, but managing money well especially as a couple is not something that needs to be rushed. We are taking our time and learning along the way.

 So, I ask, would you date someone with debt? What type of debt is acceptable and what type of debt is not? How much debt is too much debt?

 

Categories: Debt, Money & Relationships

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10 replies

  1. Strange, the issue of debt has never before crossed my mind and you did a good job of raising the issue and creating awareness as to the fact that debt does not mean the end of a relationship … it shouldn’t.

    In reality, if someone is dating with money as their priority, are they truly worth your time to begin with … now don’t get me wrong, it is an important factor but would you truly give up your prince charming over something as transient as your bank balance …

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    • I totally agree. I think its more about what the person is willing to do to get themselves out of their financial mess that matters. If they seem pretty cozy being pickled in debt and don’t want to change there ways, it may be a good idea to move on, at least that is my take on it.

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  2. I would because if women felt that way I would have never dated. I do not believe bad money decisions make you a bad person. Now marrying them is different.

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  3. A little late to the party, but I would love to weigh in on this. I recently ended a relationship with someone who had credit card debt and a low student loan amount. We ended the relationship for various reasons, but finances were one. He hasn’t acquired anymore credit card debt, and during our relationship he was close to paying off one of the cards. We lived together for the last year and a half of the relationship. Much of his credit card debt was acquired in his late teens. Companies sent him cards and he swiped away. His parents didn’t advise him on financial topics. His debt was around $2,000 for the credit cards. If he had maintained a solid job with guaranteed hours he could’ve paid this off within a year. Our biggest issue was that he struggled to keep a job in order to pay off debt and really contribute to the household.

    With that being said, I think there are a lot of factors in debt and dating. The person’s desire and actual initiative in paying off the debt are two big ones for me.

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  4. That may depend upon how and why the debt was accumulated. Accumulating debt to complete university is very different from racking up a huge credit card balance by wasting money on flummery and nonsense.

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    • I completely agree. I would even add to that and say, what are they planning on doing moving forward to get rid of the debt. For example, the size of debt I accumulated from student loans I couldn’t even think about buying a house while paying that off over 10 years. I think the amount matters as well. In my personal opinion.

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  5. Great post! I think the type of debt someone has speaks to the kind of person one is. Credit card debt typically isn’t a good thing, but I have a coworker who was happily married with 2 kids… Until the husband walked out on her. She quickly accumulated credit card debt because it was the only way she could take care of her 2 kids. Someone who’s house rich but cash poor might have bought too much house … Or maybe it was their way of forcing themselves to save! I would be wary of lots of consumer debt. When I first met my husband, he had a small credit card balance (under 2k) but it wasn’t his priority to pay it off! I didn’t understand it but he’s come such a long way since. Even though I handle all the finances, he’s still much better at being frugal most of the time!

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    • That’s unfortunate to hear about your coworker. Yes consumer debt in many cases (but not always) can be a sign of poor money management. Sometimes I think many people like myself have gotten into debt because it’s so easy to do. Credit is so readily available to many of us that it becomes the quickest solution, but not always the best one. Thanks for your feedback.

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