It makes sense that many people would think twice before marrying someone with significant credit card debt. After all, this is the person you'll be intertwining finances with for potentially the rest of your life. How responsible that person is with money as well as his or her credit rating are important.
However, it may be surprising to find out that, according to a recent survey by LendEDU, which helps people consolidate and refinance student loans, 30 percent of respondents said that a person's credit card debt is a significant factor in determining whether to date them.
In fact, according to the survey, credit card debt was far more critical than student loan or other debt, whether they were divorced or if they already had a child. Those issues ranked significantly lower.
So why is credit card debt more critical to single people looking for someone to have a relationship with -- even a casual one -- than other types of debt?
For one thing, many people may see it as avoidable. Of course, that's not always the case. Sometimes people have an unexpectedly large out-of-pocket medical expense that they see no choice but to put on their credit card. That's why it's important to ask a few questions. Was it an emergency situation or is your potential love interest a shopaholic?
It's also important to many people because -- fair or not -- they consider it a clue to how responsible someone will be as friend, partner and potentially a parent. Further, because credit card interest rates are notoriously high compared to those of other credit products, it may reflect badly on how smart someone is about money.
You certainly are under no obligation to share your credit card woes with someone you're casually dating. However, if the two of you are moving toward a more serious and potentially permanent relationship, you will need to address financial issues eventually.
It's key that couples talk about money before they marry. Divergent attitudes toward saving vs. spending and money in general can put a serious strain on a relationship.
If your credit card debt has become unmanageable, it's not a character flaw. However, it is important to take steps to get it under control. An experienced New Jersey bankruptcy attorney can help you find the best solution for you.
Source: CNBC, "30 percent of Americans wouldn't date someone with this money problem," Emmie Martin, Oct. 26, 2017