I recently had a conversation with a friend about a young lady he is currently dating. He asked me a question regarding debt, and whether it should be considered when evaluating a potential life partnership. On the surface this question may seem a little bit shallow, but allow me to share further details from the rest of our conversation.
The young lady — let’s call her Karen — has pursued multiple levels of higher education (BS, MS, doctoral degree) in order to further her professional career. However, pursuit of her additional degrees has led to student loans totaling around $180,000. Now at this point you may have your own feelings one way or another about this student loan amount, but my friend expressed the concern.
“The advanced degree training she pursued may or may not result in a salary leading to her student loans being paid off in 10-15 years or less,” he says.
“Adding significant debt into our life equation would impact some of the life goals I envision and want to accomplish with my family. Acquiring additional student loan debt without some sort of a plan can be financially detrimental.”
I responded to his concern by saying, “She is obviously not ‘the one’ because if she were, you’d accept her despite the life factors she brings to the table.”
The aforementioned example of student loan debt is only one example of what someone can inherit when saying ‘I do’ to a spouse. Other examples may include credit card debt, medical bill debt, tax liens, etc. However, this brings about a bigger question that needs to be discussed: With the state of today’s economy, are people more sensitive to the financial picture and credit rating a potential mate brings to the table? Are you willing to say yes to someone who has $100K+ in student loan debt, a 500 credit score or outstanding medical debt?
Remember that love in its purest form is unconditional, compassionate and sacrificial. You may need to revisit this to confirm whether the person you are currently dating is truly someone you want to spend the rest of your life with.
Please share your comments.
Kenny Pugh is a Life & Relationship Strategist, Author of ‘Can You Do It Standing Up?’, Associate Minister, Chat Kafe Radio Show Host, singles leader and sought-after speaker on singleness, relationships, finances and life. You can find more information about Kenny at http://www.kennypugh.com. You can follow him on Facebook at Kenny Pugh or on Twitter @mrkennypugh.