StashLearn
Get the app
Get the app

Join millions of investors on Stash

Investing, simplified

Start today with as little as $5
Get the app
Life

Don’t Let Student Loan Debt Ruin Your Relationships

November 16, 2017

  • A third of student loan borrowers say debt has affected their love lives
  • Debt worries can lead to postponed relationship milestones
2 min read

Student loan debt is causing headaches — in more ways than one.

A third of student loan borrowers report that their debt has decreased their sex drive, according to a new study by Student Loan Hero, an online resource for student borrowers.

Researcher Shannon Insler dug into the love lives of more than 1,000 people with student loan debt after completing a study in September about the physical manifestations of debt stress. She was surprised when—in addition to gastrointestinal problems and headaches—respondents in the study described their diminished libido.

Lying about debt

Insler also found that:

Talking about student loan debt shouldn’t be shameful, especially considering that 70 percent of graduates are coming out of school with loans to pay, and more than 44 million Americans have student loan debt.

What’s more, the average student loan debt is $30,156, totalling $1.4 trillion in outstanding student loan debt, according to The Federal Reserve.

The solution to all this: More communication and less guilt.

“I don’t think it should be a taboo topic,” Insler says. “If I’m sitting in a coffee shop and I hear people talking about finances, I want to give them a high five.”

Debt doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker

Debt shouldn’t be perceived as a red flag for people looking for (or seeking) love. In fact, the study shows that people are open to choosing a partner with debt.

Over a third of student loan borrowers have lied about their debt to their partner

Seventy-two percent of respondents said having a partner who can budget properly is one of the most appealing financial traits. Less than a third said having no student loan debt was the most important qualification. (Only 9 percent are looking for a partner with a trust fund, by the way. Huzzah!)

“If the love of your life has a ton of debt, you can figure it out,” says Erin Wiley, a licensed therapist based in Toledo, Ohio who worked with the researchers.

Insler found the focus on good financial habits encouraging.

Investing, simplified

Start today with as little as $5

Get the App

“They’re looking at the bigger picture,” Insler says of respondents. “It’s more important how their partner manages the debt than whether they have it at all.”

Don’t let debt destroy a good thing

The study also corroborated other research showing that debt worries lead to postponed relationship milestones.

Insler found that 46 percent of respondents delayed starting a family, 35 percent delayed talk of marriage, 25 percent delayed moving in together, and 13 percent even delayed a first date.

“Everyone’s so stressed about their future and their own financial capabilities that they don’t want to tie themselves to anyone,” Insler says.

But again, perhaps borrowers need not feel so much shame. Even among millennials and the subsequent Generation Z, known for its financial pragmatism, money isn’t close to the most important trait in a partner, according to Wiley.

People still value traits such as kindness, a sense of humor, and the ability to enjoy life as traits they’re looking for.

Often, money and lack of debt are not even on the list, Wiley says.

By Emily Winter
Emily Winter is a writer and comedian in New York. She's written for TV Land, Glamour and Fusion TV.

Next for you
It Takes Two: 6 Smart Tips for Couples and Their Finances

Investment Profile

Bonds Worldwide

An International Bond ETF on Stash

Learn more
Explore more articlesChoose a topic to learn more about
Careers love and money social media pop culture market news
Disclaimers

This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, represents an assessment of the market environment as of the date of publication, is subject to change without notice, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice or opinion. Stash assumes no obligation to provide notifications of changes in any factors that could affect the information provided. This information should not be relied upon by the reader as research or investment advice regarding any issuer or security in particular. The strategies discussed are strictly for illustrative and educational purposes and should not be construed as a recommendation to purchase or sell, or an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security. There is no guarantee that any strategies discussed will be effective.

Furthermore, the information presented does not take into consideration commissions, tax implications, or other transactional costs, which may significantly affect the economic consequences of a given strategy or investment decision. This information is not intended as a recommendation to invest in any particular asset class or strategy or as a promise of future performance. There is no guarantee that any investment strategy will work under all market conditions or is suitable for all investors. Each investor should evaluate their ability to invest long term, especially during periods of downturn in the market. Investors should not substitute these materials for professional services, and should seek advice from an independent advisor before acting on any information presented. Before investing, please carefully consider your willingness to take on risk and your financial ability to afford investment losses when deciding how much individual security exposure to have in your investment portfolio.

Past performance does not guarantee future results. There is a potential for loss as well as gain in investing. Stash does not represent in any manner that the circumstances described herein will result in any particular outcome. While the data and analysis Stash uses from third party sources is believed to be reliable, Stash does not guarantee the accuracy of such information. Nothing in this article should be considered as a solicitation or offer, or recommendation, to buy or sell any particular security or investment product or to engage in any investment strategy. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission. Stash does not provide personalized financial planning to investors, such as estate, tax, or retirement planning. Investment advisory services are only provided to investors who become Stash Clients pursuant to a written Advisory Agreement. For more information please visit www.stashinvest.com/disclosures.