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What types of debt do we consider unacceptable in a partner?
Would debt stop you from saying "I do"?
You’ve got more than your credit score to worry about when under a pile of debt. Some 72% of Americans say they’d reconsider a romantic relationship because of another person’s debt, according to the latest findings from Finder.com. That means if you’re among the many Americans saddled with debt, you may be shrinking your pool of potential matches by roughly 182.8 million adults.
Kevin O’Leary, star of ABC’s Shark Tank and Founder of O’Leary Financial Group, seems to confirm our findings. We reached out to seek his expert advice on debt, love and the “money talk.”
O’Leary first discussed harsh truths of relationships. “The majority of unions break up,” he explains. “Marriages within five and seven years, 50 percent fail. Most people think it’s from infidelity. It isn’t. It’s from financial stress. Most marriages can survive infidelity, but they can’t survive financial stress. It’s an incompatible relationship financially.”
O’Leary suggests couples “set goals on a three- to five-year basis and agree on them,” adding, “If you express a financial interest in somebody on, let’s say, the third date or even the second date, that’s a sign you’re really interested in a future with that person.” He adds, “It can be a powerful aphrodisiac.”
Men and women accept debt differently
Overall, women are more likely than men to shy away from a romantic partnership if their paramour has debt. Men are more likely to hesitate if a partner owes either student loan or mortgage debt. However, women are more likely to take issue with debts related to payday loans, auto loans, personal loans, credit cards, medical bills and home equity loans.
|Type of debt||% of women||% of men|
|Family and friends||42%||42%|
|Home equity loan||40%||39%|
There’s also disparity in how much debt is unacceptable. The highest amount considered unacceptable for men looking for a potential partner involves a business loan at $196,541.56. Whereas, the top figure for women is a partner with a mortgage of $272,995.37.
Gen Y don’t want no scrubs
It looks like Gen Y might be all about that paper, as they’re most likely to find all categories of debt unacceptable in a mate. Both student loan and credit card debt top their list, with 59% saying they’d steer clear of someone with this type of debt.
For the most part, Gen X and baby boomers flip-flop as most accepting generation of debt, though baby boomers are most open overall.
|Type of debt||% of Baby Boomers||% of Gen X||% of Gen Y|
|Family and friends||37%||41%||47%|
|Home equity loan||37%||38%||43%|
Ask the Expert
“My No. 1 piece of advice is talk about money. Talk about it. It matters. It helps you build a relationship with somebody. Don’t be scared to talk about money. Most people think it’s a turnoff. It isn’t. It’s absolutely a very positive thing when people are getting together. So that’s my No. 1 thing: Just be ready to talk about it. It’s not bad. It’s good for you.”
Past Unacceptable Partner Debt Stats
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