Money and dating go hand in hand. And finances don't only come into play when deciding who picks up the check. Choices around costs can create major relationship rifts and, in some cases, be deal-breakers.
Over 30 percent of Americans report that credit card debt is a critical factor when deciding to date someone or not, for example, according to a new survey by LendEDU.
Student loan debt pales in comparison: Only about 12 percent of respondents said that would be a critical part of someone's desirability.
Credit card debt also mattered more to respondents than if a potential partner had been divorced or had a child from a previous marriage.
When asked, "Which of the following would most likely lead you not to date someone?" 13.5 percent of respondents chose high levels of debt, while 13 percent picked having a child and about 9 percent said a previous divorce.
To some, the statistic might seem silly. If you like someone, would you really not pursue things just because of money?
But to some experts, financial problems can signify other potential issues. Your financial history can give clues about "what kind of parent you're going be, what kind of friend you're going be [and] what kind of partner you're going be," Helen Fisher, a Ph.D. and the chief scientific adviser at Match.com, told CNBC Make It.
Credit card debt hurts more than other types of debt, such as a mortgage or student loans, because it typically comes with the highest interest rates. The average credit card interest rate in the U.S. is 18.76 percent as of 2016, and the average household pays a total of $1,292 in credit-card interest each year.
Since credit card debt can also be largely avoidable, it's important to consider why someone got behind on their payments. Did a medical emergency come up or did they splurge on electronics, travel or an expensive watch? The answer could be telling.
If you're coupled up, talking about money can create more stress than bringing up politics or religion, but it's crucial anyway. "It's incredibly important to [talk about money] and make sure that you're aligned in your financial outlook early on in the relationship," Kate Manfred, vice president of brand communications and insights at Discover, told CNBC Make It.
If you're inspired to get out of debt for romantic or other reasons, these resources could help:
- Only 20% of Americans save money regularly—here are 6 easy ways to get started
- 6 things to do in your 20s to be debt-free by 30
- Debt is the No. 1 cause of financial stress in 35 states—here are 5 ways to get free
- 5 things to give up if you want to be debt-free
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