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Student loan debt affects marriage trends

North Carolina economists, marriage counselors and family law experts alike are all interested in the many different factors that contribute to marriage and divorce rates. After all, contemporary marriage and divorce practices continually evolve to account for societal and cultural changes. Certain types of personal debt, for instance, are playing an increasing role in when people marry, as well as why they divorce.

According to one study, personal debt is a major factor that couples take into consideration before getting married. For instance, around 7 percent of those surveyed said that they would end their relationship before marrying someone with debt. Approximately 10 percent of people claimed that they would not help their partner pay down his or her individual debt, and a little over 50 percent of people explained that they would delay marriage until their partner’s debt was paid off completely.

Given that there is evidence to suggest that personal finances contribute significantly to people’s relationship decisions, another researcher studied whether and how student loan debt affected marriage rates. According to the results of the study, the probability of marriage decreased between 3 to 4 percent in cases where there was $10,000 in student loan debt.

Financial difficulties and disagreements over spending and finances have long been understood to contribute to marital problems and divorce in the U.S. Consequently, couples are encouraged to discuss their personal and joint finances in order to develop an effective plan for paying down debts like student loans. People are also reminded that there are multiple ways to address financial concerns successfully.

Source: MoneyTalksNews, “Love vs. Loans: How Student Debt Sabotages Relationships,” Krystal Steinmetz, July 25, 2015

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