Millennial Women Are Hesitant to Marry People With Debt, Survey Finds

Most millennial women won’t put their finances at risk for love.
  • A Charlie Finance survey of single millennial women found that 66 percent of them wouldn’t put their financial future at risk for marriage.
  • Over half of the women surveyed would rather marry someone with a tattoo of their ex than someone with a lot of debt.
  • Nearly half of the single women surveyed would forgo an engagement ring to use the cash to pay for bills, a vacation or the wedding instead.

What would you risk for love? For many single millennial women, financial security is something that they wouldn’t put on the line to follow their hearts, a new survey found. Charlie Finance, a text-based AI chatbot platform, surveyed over 500 single women age 18 to 40 to find out their views on finances and long-term compatibility and found that 66 percent of women wouldn’t put their financial future at risk for marriage — even though the financial deck is stacked against single women.

“Sadly, we live in a financial system that doesn’t benefit single women,” Paola Heneine, a growth manager at Charlie Finance, said in a press release, “even though we are working harder than ever, make up a larger percentage of higher degrees than men and are savvier at saving for retirement — single women will actually end up spending a million dollars more in their lifetime on costs like healthcare, housing, retirement, etc. compared to their married counterparts. Even with all the financial cards stacked against us, we still would rather stay single than marry someone who will drag us down financially.”

See: Incredible Ways Women’s Finances Have Changed Over the Last 100 Years

A Bad Credit Score Can Be a Dating Dealbreaker

Charlie Finance’s 2019 Money and Dating survey found that 54 percent of single millennial women would rather date a person with a tattoo of their ex than a person with a credit score below 500.

“While both may indicate a lack of responsibility, a history of poor borrowing and spending habits […] has long-term consequences to a couple’s ability to purchase a house or car, support children and [enjoy the] basic financial comforts of taking vacations,” according to the survey press release.

Millennial Women Don’t Want to Marry a Partner With a Lot of Debt

Debt can be a major source of financial baggage — and most millennial women don’t want to deal with that baggage when picking a long-term partner. The survey found that 58 percent of single women age 18 to 40 would be hesitant to marry a partner with a large amount of debt. That percentage is even higher when looking at responses from older millennial women, with 67 percent of respondents age 31 to 40 stating that they are less likely to marry someone who would bring debt into a marriage.

Related: Hiding This Much Debt From Your Spouse Could Lead to Divorce

About Half of Millennial Women Prefer Cash Over an Engagement Ring

The average cost of an engagement ring in 2018 was $5,680, according to a survey conducted by wedding publication The Knot. That’s a large chunk of change — and according to the Charlie Finance survey, 49 percent of single millennial women would rather put those funds toward paying bills, going on vacation, covering wedding costs or paying for the honeymoon.

More on Matrimony and Money: Here’s How Much the Average Wedding Costs

Single Women Don’t Want to Know About Your Financial Baggage Right Away

In the world of internet dating, you can find almost anything out about a potential partner before you even meet them, with a quick Google search and a scan of their social media profiles. But there are some things women don’t want to know up-front, including details about their potential mate’s financial status. According to the survey, 74 percent of single women do not want to see financial information — like credit score, student loan debt or savings — up-front on a dating app. That makes sense given that nearly half of the women surveyed (48 percent) believe that you shouldn’t discuss financial matters such as debt, savings and spending until you’re in a serious relationship.

Related: My Husband and I Never Talk About Money — Why It Works for Us

Here’s Why Finances Should Be a Dating Dealbreaker

It’s clear that single millennial women are being selective about who they choose as a long-term partner and are making choices based on a potential spouse’s financial health. And this is a smart move, Heneine said.

“The fact that we are waiting longer to get married and prioritizing if a partner will bring us financial bliss or misery is forcing us to get smarter with how the financial decisions we make now will impact us long-term,” she said in the release. “My advice to single women is to always keep your financial independence. Your credit scores, savings and financial worth have so much value — never let someone else take advantage of that.”

Find out 15 surprising truths about millennials and their financial expectations.

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