Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Talk about his debt before you break it off
First Published Apr 11 2014 01:01 am • Last Updated Apr 11 2014 01:01 am

Dear Carolyn • I finished my undergrad a year ago, have a good job, and consider myself financially stable. My boyfriend is finishing his master’s and will graduate with $200,000 in student debt.

We’ve been together for nine months and have not talked seriously about his massive debt. I know we both eventually want to be married and have kids, travel and live comfortable lives.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

I don’t see that being a possibility. Homeownership and kids seem impossible under that kind of debt.

I’ve considered talking to a financial adviser but doubt that will help much. I don’t want to break up with him, but, the way I see it, he’d have to throw massive amounts of money into his loans, and what I make would support us. I would end up resenting him for that. Should I break it off?

Dear Not My Debt • Maybe. Probably. If you’d walk away over money without talking to him "seriously" first, then, definitely. But for his sake, not yours.

Debt like that will dog you, limit you, wake you up to stare at the ceiling at 3 a.m. if one’s job is the least bit unstable. I sympathize with all of your misgivings. I also recognize this has become a too-common reality and, coldly I guess, hope others will read this and weigh the realistic return on education investments carefully before making them.

All of this is the responsible, predictable answer.

Here’s the other answer that I can’t shake: A lot of us would choose our mates, and their liabilities — education debt, chronic illness, (guano)-crazy family — over homeownership, travel ... even comfort, depending on how you define it. Plenty sign on despite children from previous relationships at an estimated $241,080 liability per to age 18, in middle-class style (per U.S. Department of Agriculture).

So, break it off? If he’s not the guy you’d choose over your preferred lifestyle, then, yes. If you’re not sure yet, then talking seriously about money sounds like a fine place to start finding out.


story continues below
story continues below

Carolyn Hax’s column runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.