Your Wallet
February 10, 2014

For Love or Money: What Kind of Mate are You?

[For the official press release and survey data, click here.]

You meet someone. In your eyes, they are perfect. You picture spending the rest of your life with them. Then, you find out they’re buried in student loan or credit card debt. Soul mate or not, the latest COUNTRY Financial Security Index® survey reveals two-thirds of Americans are unwilling to date or marry someone with significant debt.

Is debt a deal breaker for you? Check out the infographic below to see what category you fall under.

for love or moneyFINAL

So, how many Americans are aware of their significant other’s debt? How many people would rather talk about money rather than their exes? Read on to find out more stats our latest survey uncovered.

Debt-Dodgers

Is debt a turn off? Two-thirds of Americans who are dating or single say they are unwilling to date or marry someone who has significant debt.

  • Of those, singles are less willing than those who are currently dating (72 percent vs. 55 percent, respectively)
  • Women are more likely to say debt trumps love. Seventy-two percent say they won’t date or marry someone with significant debt, compared to 58 percent of men who say the same.
  • Those earning more than $200,000 annually are least likely to be “debt-dodgers.” Eighty-one percent would get involved with someone who has significant debt.

Know-It-Alls 

For the 73 percent of Americans in relationships (married, engaged or dating), 72 percent say they know just how much debt, if any, their significant other has.

  • Perhaps not surprisingly, married Americans are much more likely to know about their spouse’s debt (81 percent).
  • In comparison, just 54 percent of those who are engaged say they are in the know.
  • And 41 percent of those who are currently dating someone say they are aware of their significant other’s debt.

Money-Talkers

In a relationship, how soon is “too soon” to discuss money? Nearly one-third of Americans (31 percent) say the three-month mark is appropriate, and another 29 percent give the green light to discuss finances immediately.

  • Thirty-six percent of married Americans say it’s okay to discuss money right away, compared to 28 percent of those who are engaged, 14 percent of those who are currently dating someone, and 23 percent of singles.
  • Men are more likely than woman to say money-talk is appropriate at the onset of a relationship (33 percent vs. 26 percent).

The Ex-Effect

While money may be an uncomfortable subject for many Americans, is talking about exes even worse? Seventy percent say they would rather talk about money than past relationships. But nearly one-third (30 percent) would rather discuss exes or are unsure which would be more uncomfortable.

  • Those who are currently single are the most unsure about which topic would be more uncomfortable (40 percent).

Tips for a Healthy Financial Relationship

Read 4 Must-Have Money Talks Before Marriage for advice on talking about money with your partner. Don’t worry, even if you are married, it’s not too late.

 

 

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