How much debt is a relationship dealbreaker?

New research from personal finance site found people do put a price on how much debt is acceptable in a potential partner.

Got more than $11,000 in credit card debt?

The survey of 2,000 Americans found that’s the benchmark ($11,525 on average to be exact) that is deemed unacceptable. Just over 77 percent of survey respondents consider credit card debt to be reason to kick someone to the curb.

Payday loans averaging $1,830 were deemed bad, and student loans at $51,000. Interestingly, millennials were the least accepting of student loans.

Business loans were the most tolerable type of debt.

“When it comes to gender, there isn’t much difference between the types of debt each consider unacceptable in a partner” according to the survey results. “The top three most unacceptable debts for both genders are consistent: credit card, payday loans and student loans.”

“Roses are red. And debt is too. But if you owe too much money, I’m not dating you,” writes Quentin Fottrell for MarketWatch giving his take on the survey. “Given that many people are finally getting back on their feet after the Great Recession and now looking at an eerily familiar sight of a stock market gripped by turbulence, it’s probably understandable.”

As I have written in my column, I don’t think that you have to dump people just because of a heavy debt load, whether it’s education or even credit card obligations. If you’re dating and want to know when debt should be a deal-breaker, here are four signs.

Color of Money question of the week
How much debt would make a person undateable to you? Send your comments to In the subject line put “Dating and Debt.” Please include your name, city and state. All opinions are welcome but please keep your comments civil.

Live chat today
Let’s talk taxes.

Joining me today at noon (ET) will be Eric Bronnenkant, head of taxes at online financial advisor Betterment. His 15 years of experience include working for EY (Ernst & Young), Fidelity, and as an adjunct tax professor at Seton Hall University.

Click this link to join the discussion. If you can’t participate live, you can send in your questions early.

If you’re not investing you should be. There’s a sale in the stock market right now.
It’s been a wild time in the stock market. Many experts have cautioned investors not to panic. In fact, when stocks are down, it’s time to go discount shopping.

For last week’s question I asked you to help me help folks who think they can’t afford to invest. I asked: What have you gained from investing? Dennis E. Quillen of Hattiesburg, Miss., said he can often get the attention of potential investors by noting the following:

1. “Rule of 72.”
USA Today: Doubling your money: The ‘rule of 72’

Investopedia explains more in “What is the Rule of 72?”

“A simplified way to determine how long an investment will take to double, given a fixed annual rate of interest.”

2. The power of compound interest, “or even better, provide online site for interactive monthly investments in different amounts.”

Mark wrote, “I work with a professional on my portfolio and it’s worth it. I have my investment portfolio spread through multiple equity and bond market sectors. It is distributed at about 70 percent equity funds and 30 percent bond funds. This reduces volatility and allows for steady growth without huge downturns in the total value of my low seven figure portfolio. Since I am already retired, I plan live off my federal retirement checks as much as possible and allow the portfolio to continue to grow.”

Color of Money columns this week
Knowledge isn’t power. The right knowledge is power.

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Have a question about your finances? Michelle Singletary has a weekly live chat every Thursday at noon where she discusses financial dilemmas with readers. You can also write to Michelle directly by sending an email to Personal responses may not be possible, and comments or questions may be used in a future column, with the writer’s name, unless otherwise requested. To read more Color of Money columns, go here.

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