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The $60,000 reason some Aussies can’t find love

It's one relationship deal-breaker people don't think about. (Source: Getty)

When it comes to dating, there are enough deal-breakers to contend with already.

But new research from Finder has revealed there may be another factor that has been overlooked: debt.

According to a study of 792 respondents, Australians would refuse to date someone if their debt exceeded $59,758 (outside of their mortgage).

In fact, 24 per cent would refuse to consider a potential partner if they were just $1,000 in debt, and another 15 per cent would be turned off if the other person had debt of $1,000 to $5,000.

For some, debt can be a major deal-breaker in the modern world of dating, said Finder personal finance expert Kate Browne.

“Love and money don’t always mix, especially when debt is involved. It’s hard enough to keep your own personal finances in check, let alone having to worry about someone else’s,” she said.

Money shouldn’t be discussed on the first date, but if things move further along, having an open discussion about finances is important, according to Browne.

“You don’t want your partner’s debt to prevent you from eventually buying a home or getting ahead financially,” Browne said.

It appears men are more forgiving than women: men would tolerate up to $64,000 in debt, while women say their threshold is $56,000.

And younger the age, the less forgiving they are: Gen X would look the other way up to $77,000, while Gen Y wouldn’t date someone with more than $43,000.

Not all debt is the same

However, not all debt is all bad. Some kinds of debt, such as personal loans, credit card or buy now pay later, are worse than others, said Browne.

“A student loan is considered to be good debt because it can help an individual to get ahead in life. You should also consider your partner’s strategy for getting rid of debt. They may repay it in a matter of months with clever budgeting,” she said.

Nonetheless, steer clear of gambling debt or racking up a history of defaults, Browne added.

Other kinds of ‘good debt’ would be mortgages or business loans.

Can my partner’s debt affect me?

Even if your own financial record is flawless, your partner’s debt can affect your ability to get loans in the future.

When applying for a home loan with your partner, their poor debt history or low credit score could affect your chances of scoring the loan, and the pair could be rejected altogether.

The same rule applies if you’re getting a joint loan or credit card: if your partner carries debt, you could be rejected.

And if your partner were to die with credit card debt, the assets you jointly own could be affected, such as your car or home. 

These assets could be used to pay off their debt, but this generally happens with secured debt rather than unsecured debt.

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