What kind of lies about money would cause you to end a romantic relationship? What is more important–debt or money problems themselves, or if your significant other lies about them? As young Americans begin their adult lives with unprecedented amounts of student loan debt, it’s important to confront debt and be honest with oneself and before pursuing a serious relationship. Just ask the California woman whose fiancÃ© broke their engagement after learning that her student loan debts were significantly higher than she had previously disclosed.
The New York Times shared her cautionary tale:
[The 31-year-old woman] said she had told him early on in their relationship that she had over $100,000 of debt. But, she said, even she didn’t know what the true balance was; like a car buyer who focuses on only the monthly payment, she wrote 12 checks a year for about $1,100 each, the minimum possible. She didn’t focus on the bottom line, she said, because it was so profoundly depressing.
But as the couple got closer to their wedding day, she took out all the paperwork and it became clear that her total debt was actually about $170,000. “He accused me of lying… But if I was lying, I was lying to myself, not to him. I didn’t really want to know the full amount.”
The Times’ advice for avoiding such romantic/financial catastrophes? Be honest with yourself and with your significant other. Be brutally honest about your career plans and your debt load when preparing for marriage or moving in together. Legal agreements that put into writing whose salary pays whose debt are crucial in the event of (yes, you have to think about it) a divorce.
How Debt Can Destroy a Budding Relationship [NY Times] (Thanks, bubbicito!)