The surprising ways student loans can affect your sex life

Three couples reveal their financial plans for the future

It turns out student loans can affect more than just your bank account; they can affect your libido, too. That's according to Student Loan Hero, which conducted a survey of more than 1,000 Americans with outstanding loan debt to see how the debt impacts their relationships.

About 32 percent say that stress caused by debt has decreased their sex drive. For some borrowers, that stress has led to arguments with their partner about money or avoiding the topic altogether.

Nearly 43 percent say they fight about money with their partners "somewhat often," 36 percent say they have lied about money and 24 percent have kept their student loans a secret.

What's more, 46 percent of respondents say they've delayed starting a family because of loan debt, 35 percent delayed "the marriage talk," and one-quarter put off moving in together.

Of respondents deciding whether to settle down with someone, more than one-third say how that person manages their money, and debt, could be a deal breaker, according to the survey.

By contrast, the ability to budget, having a retirement account and having a high credit score are the top financial traits respondents found most appealing in a potential partner.

In another survey of more than 2,000 online daters, 58 percent say good credit in a partner is more attractive than driving a nice car, 50 percent say it's more important than an impressive job title and 40 percent said they favor good credit over physical fitness.

"All of this points to a desire to see a strong financial foundation — and how having a plan for the future can be more important to potential partners than not having debt today," the survey says.

If you're in a relationship, or want to be, be open and honest about your debt. More than 44 million Americans have taken out student loans to pay for school and their debt totals $1.4 trillion. So you're in good company.

Then make a plan to start paying it down.

Try to "utilize benefits such as income-driven repayment plans to help you until you get on your feet," Shannon McNay, of Student Loan Hero, tells CNBC Make It.

"If you're on an income-driven repayment plan and follow your plan's instructions to the 'T,' you could be eligible for forgiveness after a certain amount of qualifying payments have been made."

Or, she adds, you can refinance your loans. "Talk to your lender the minute you think you might be having trouble to see what options they have to help."

And, if you're still in school, these companies could also help you pay less or become debt-free.

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