A survey suggests when credit unions help members restructure debt, they may also help them into matrimony.
That's because some consumers find their debt burden heavy enough to forestall getting married, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
The Foundation reported that 37% of 2,170 visitors to its website in late January said if a potential spouse had a lot of debt they would not marry them. An additional 10% said they would marry but not help pay the debt and 7% said they would end the relationship. Only 46% of the self-selecting respondents replied they would marry and pay off the debt together.
“When considering the negative ramifications of debt, people may not realize that the associated problems can go beyond credit scores and interest rates. Debt can also have serious, long-lasting personal implications,” said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC. “It appears that debt overrides love, at least temporarily, when deciding to move forward in a relationship. It’s money over marriage.”
The Foundation noted that with rates of current college debt, two young people who married could end up carrying a six-figure debt load, and that this could leave them with a heavy burden to carry into a marriage.
“Close to half of all marriages in America end in divorce, with financial strain often cited as the culprit,” the Foundation reported when announcing the survey. “Therefore, it is no surprise that people are reluctant to start off on the wrong financial foot.”