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Research and Statistics

Credit card debt is a huge red flag for potential partners, survey shows

However, millennials say student loan debt is just as big a deal breaker


Carried debt is unsurprisingly a strike against any potential romantic partner. But according to new survey data, credit card debt is the most maligned.

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Carried debt is unsurprisingly a strike against any potential romantic partner. But according to new survey data, credit card debt is the most maligned. surveyed more than 2,000 adults about whether certain types of debts were relationship deal breakers, and across three generations, credit cards sat in the worst spot. Only among millennials was another type of debt — student loans — shunned as much as card debt.

The millennial data is curious, as almost 6 in 10 respondents said they find credit card debt and student loans unacceptable in a potential partner. This comes from the generation that is arguably the most pervasively saddled with student debt.

See related: Many Americans would give up dining out, vacations to erase debt

Generation X and baby boomer respondents were slightly more forgiving, with all of their “worst 5” debts falling below the majority level of 50 percent, except for credit card debt in both generations and student loans among Gen Xers.

The three generations did share the same “worst 5” debts (though not in the same order after credit cards). On the heels of card and student loan debt, auto loans, mortgages and payday loans were considered the biggest deal breakers.’s survey was conducted by global research firm Pureprofile in November 2018. Its results were released Feb. 4.

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Credit Card Rate Report Updated: July 8th, 2020
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