Is student debt crushing your love life?

Hey, he might be cute underneath the mask.

As if dating and debt are not depressing enough topics on their own, a fear that literally keeps me up at night with anxiety has been NPR confirmed: if you have a lot of student loan debt, you are not marriage material.

Big debt is an impediment to moving forward in every aspect of your adult life. Call me naive, but I was hoping love might be the exception. Now this, according to NPR: those of us who took loans as an investment in our future are having problems getting mates. The piece goes on to quote folks on both sides: those who view six-figure debt as a dealbreaker, and spurned debtors who deal with financial disparity by sticking to their Sallie Mae bracket.

The article does mention some work arounds for the bold few who do want to build a life with someone who comes with a lot of debt: avoiding legal marriage, pre nups, and keeping finances separate. But money is the number one issue that splits couples up and going in with an uneven hand is likely to cause major problems down the road.

There is coupling potential for mates who are equally saddled with debt. Don’t ever plan on buying any property or having any kids, but at least you’ll have someone to cuddle up next to in your cardboard box in Zuccotti Park when you’re old and gray. Or you can always move to Kansas.

So ‘fess up. Have you ever dumped someone — or get dumped — at least in part because of student loan debt?

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  1. Tim Donnelly

    The real reason is that all of us who went to college are too smart to get married. Down with matrimony, up with awkward hookups!

    ^not the actual real reason.

  2. Crescit amor nummi, quantum ipsa pecunia crevit

    I’m not sure that my student loan debt makes me ‘unmarriagable’ but it was an issue with my ex. I was never as spontaneous and fun as he would have liked, because unplanned spending to me usually meant winding up having to scrap by at some point during the month waiting for my next paycheck. He didn’t go to college, and viewed student loans as a luxury of a burden and never really took my financial problems seriously.

    It wasn’t why we broke up ultimately, but it was definitely a contributing factor. I wouldn’t want to be married to that guy anyway.

  3. beezy

    I hate my student loan payments – $350 a month – but as someone who spent most of my twenties without a degree of any kind and taking home about $1000 a month I feel it is totally worth it. The real millstone around my neck was the shittier jobs I was forced to take.

    • beezy

      and from experience, not being able to afford drinks at the bar ever; or a nice dinner ever; AND only having a crap job to talk about was a big drag on my love life.

  4. Debbie Downer

    I lie in bed awake at night thinking about my long-term boyfriend’s student debt and how if we ever get married we will never be able to afford to have kids, a nice apartment, or ever go on vacation. I have no debt and support myself 100%. I am 23. I never thought I would have to think about these things.

    • niko_bellic

      The most significant thing about your situation is that you are just 23. I could bet my entire life savings that you will have at least 3 more “long-term boyfriends” (and at least 1 quickie marriage) before you find “the one”, by which I mean your grownup self that’s actually going to last (and afterwards the man you will actually be happy with).

  5. Allison

    Indirectly. Yes. This was a huge issue we never discussed until it was over. I felt ashamed of my debt and he didn’t feel secure with me because of my overwhelming debt and inability to move forward with my ideal life because of it. Damn shame because we were awesome.

  6. rutila

    I’m in the same boat with Debbie and Mary.

    Anyone who’s ever read Suze Orman knows about good debt (education) and bad debt (credit cards). I’m fine with someone who carries some debt but makes enough so he can pay it off without starving and without sacrificing his savings account or retirement fund — whatever pittance can go in. Easier said than done in this economy, but I’m eking out a living and expect my man can do the same.

  7. brokegalnyc

    We are avoiding legal marriage until my student loan debt is smaller. I currently have around $37,000, all of it federal and the vast majority subsidized stafford loans. Why rush into marriage anyway?

  8. Quit Ur Whining

    i haven’t dumped anyone because of student loan debt. i dumped them because they were immature a**holes who couldn’t look past their ass.

  9. niko_bellic

    Well, I’ve had all the travel in the world and all the nice things I ever wanted in life, and now I just want to settle down with someone I love, and I don’t care if it means I can’t do any of those things any more. Which is exactly what I did, and I’m super happy. Isn’t that how you are supposed to do it anyway? It’s not exactly rocket science. If you are worried about not being able to afford nice things after you get married, your problem is that you are too young for marriage, not that your prospective spouse is in debt.

  10. You mean there are people between the ages of 21 and 30 who *don’t* have crippling student loan debt? Because I don’t know about the rest of you, but everyone told me that I had to go to college if I wanted to get a job… not that it really helped at all.

    And I can’t imagine those that didn’t go to college have a job that’s so good that it even makes a difference.

    My bf and I both have a lot of debt and we are both living pretty modestly, but just like any relationship issue it’s something that can be worked on. The sad thing is that whether we’re ready to get married or not we just can’t reasonably afford it. That could be an issue down the road, but it’s not yet.

  11. Stephanie

    I have $250,000 student loan debt from graduate school. I’m hesitant to date anyone because I haven’t been able to find a job because I’m overqualified! Ahhh! There’s plenty of rich men interested in me…but…times have changed, men are aware of gold diggers so they stay away…

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