35% of Adults Bring Credit Card Debt into Relationships

June 30, 2015, Written By Justin Hefner
Young couple calculating their domestic bills at home

Over one-third (35%) of adults bring credit card debt into new relationships, more than any other form of financial debt, according to a new survey from NerdWallet.

Men were more likely to bring credit card debt into the relationship than women–42% vs. 29%, respectively. 45% of Millennials admitted to bringing credit card debt in their relationships.

The study asked over 2,000 adults in serious partnerships how debt affected their relationships. One in four couples with incoming credit card debt said that debt had a negative impact on their relationship.

Credit card debt puts a strain on many relationships due to the way serious couples set up their finances. Of the couples who were married, living together, or in a civil union, 91% said they combined their finances–making the new credit card debt a burden for both parties.

On average, people with credit card debt brought a balance of $4,100 in debt into their relationship. That means couples where both people brought debt could have a combined debt of $8,200, exceeding the $7,327 in credit card debt for the average American household. 18% of couples reported a combined credit card debt of over $10,000.

Credit card debt was the most common debt brought into a committed relationship. 25% of couples brought auto loan debt, 23% carried mortgage debt, 15% brought student loan debt and 11% had medical debt.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of June 30, 2015. For up-to-date
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