19.7 million Canadians consider debt a deal-breaker

31 January 2019

Everyone brings baggage to a relationship, whether it’s financial or emotional, but it seems the weight of your financial baggage could be heavier than you might have thought. A new study by Finder has found that 68.5% of Canadian adults say they would reconsider a relationship based on a person’s financial debt. That means if you’re among the many Canadians saddled with debt, you could be reducing your potential dating pool by roughly 19.7 million people.

Is all debt bad?

If you’re holding onto debt and hitting the dating scene, it’s not time to panic just yet. Interestingly, some types of debt held are more favourable than others. Debts from payday loans are the least desirable, with over half of Canadians (58.4%) saying this type of debt would be unacceptable. Credit card debt (43.6%) was next on the list, followed by debt held with family and friends (22.04%).

Canadians are most sympathetic when it comes to other types of debt, such as debt from a mortgage (8.3%), medical bill (7.2%) or business loan (6.6%). It’s possible that debt from home loans, new business ideas or medical expenses are seen as “practical” expenditures and are thus more understandable when courting a new love interest.

Men and women accept debt differently

Men and women view debt held by their prospective partner as a deal-breaker almost equally, at 68.3% and 68.7%, respectively. However, when it comes to the type of debt, women are more likely to prefer debt from a medical bill or business loan and have issues with debt from a payday loan, credit card, family and friends or a personal loan.

Baby boomers most critical of partner debt

Nearly three quarters (70.5%) of baby boomers have a problem with any type of partner debt. Meanwhile, 67.5% of generation X and 66.2% of millennials said the same, suggesting financial security is a key factor for romantic interests across generations.

More Central Canadians think partner debt is unacceptable

When broken down by region, it appears Central Canadians are far more likely to think debt is unacceptable in their partner, with 71.4% saying they’d steer clear of a potential suitor with debt.

Those from the West Coast are much more forgiving, with just 60.8% of people from this region having a problem with partner debt.

Struggling to get a date?

If you’re sick of spending Valentine’s Day alone, and you think your debt is to blame, you might want to check out these tips on how to manage five different types of debt.


This data is from a survey of 2,000 Canadian adults commissioned by finder.com and conducted by OnePoll in June 2018. Due to not having enough respondents, the North region (Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory) was not included.
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