We already know that credit card debt can impact your mental, physical and financial well-being. We also know that financial trouble is one of the major contributors to divorce. But did you know that credit card debt and dating don’t mix either? Debt can negatively impact your love life while you’re dating as well.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a recent survey from U.S. personal finance group Nerd Wallet, shows that people looking for love are very likely to consider their prospective partner’s debt load as a major criteria.
According to the survey:
- 49 percent of respondents cited that they found credit card debt unattractive in a mate
- More women than men found credit card debt unattractive. 51 percent of women vs. 46 percent of men would walk away from a relationship where credit card debt was an issue.
- Looks aren’t everything when you’re dating, but optics matter. 70 percent of respondents said that they felt that there was a negative stigma around credit card debt, as opposed to “good debt” (i.e. a house).
- Most people don’t feel good about debt and are reluctant to be honest about it. 35 percent are ashamed to admit how much they have in credit debt; 43 percent feel that they are negatively judged by family and friends as a result of high debt load.
“Too much credit card debt will negatively influence all areas of your life, including your personal relationships. Whether romantically or even with family members or friends, the burden of carrying a debt load places serious strain on a relationship, for all parties involved, “ says Jeff Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.
“Reining in runaway debt is not only the best thing you can do for yourself financially, it lets you put your best foot forward in your personal relationships as well.”
Be compatible with cash
Wouldn’t it be great if the straightest path to your one true love coincided with you paying down your debt?
First step is to cut up those credit cards (save for one for emergencies) and adopt a cash-only lifestyle. Not only will this let you pay down the debt you have more quickly, it will eventually increase your cash flow- which you can spend on more dates!
Honesty is the best policy
If you are laden with debt and feel anxious or ashamed about it, as many do, is hiding information any way to start a new relationship? You want to set the stage for open and honest communication.
Credit card debt may be unattractive to potential suitors, but honesty and trust sure isn’t. And then you can throw in earning some serious respect for admitting to your debts and paying them down, which is an admirable accomplishment, regardless.
Consider the options
It’s not hard to understand why people would be turned off by debts in prospective suitors. If the relationship progresses, you could together be mutually responsible for debt loads.
Debt accumulation might also be a behavioural indicator, which some might shy away from when looking for a partner. The best way to direct that cupid’s arrow back towards you is to change your own attitude towards credit card debt.
Are you looking to reduce your credit card debt? Want to improve your love life (or your life in general) by lessening your debt load? We can help. Call one of our trained credit counsellors or check out our free online debt analysis tool to get started.