Dating With Debt: Are Student Loans a Deal Breaker?

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You meet that special someone and sparks fly. You aren’t sure what hit you. You can’t even think straight. As you are falling for this new person, you wonder, “When should I tell him/her my number?”

Are Student Loans a Deal Breaker?

Disclosing how much student loan debt you have to someone you’re dating can be scary. Are they going to be cool with it or run for the hills? Will it be a deal breaker?

Well, it depends on your mate and your student loan situation.

If you both have student loans, you can both commiserate together (doesn’t that sound romantic?), but if one person has student loans and the other doesn’t, it could be a turn off, especially if that person has six-figure debt.

A story profiled in The New York Times illustrates just how much student loan debt can affect your romantic prospects. After a woman disclosed her student loan balance to her fiancee, he broke off the engagement within three days.

While she had mentioned that her student loan debt was over $100,000 prior to the engagement, she didn’t know exactly how much she owed. So before the engagement, they looked over the paperwork and found her total balance was $170,000. Suddenly, “I do” became “I don’t.”

What does this all mean for student loan borrowers looking for love? Are those with student loans doomed to the outskirts of the dating arena? Are student loan borrowers second rate candidates when it comes to the dating scene?

Not so fast. While student loan debt can affect your future relationships, it doesn’t have to mean the end.

But if you’re dating and in debt, here are some ways to help make the process easier and avoid having student loan debt become a deal breaker.

Coming Clean About Your Debt

When you’re dating, the topic of student loan debt may not come up right away. Some dates may be a one-time, oh-please-never-again situation. Others might be the start of something more.

If you make a connection with someone, knowing the right time to come clean can be tricky. You definitely don’t need to wear a scarlet letter “D” for debt to let everyone around you know your situation. But eventually, you’ll need to fess up and let the person you are dating know about your student loan debt.

Here are some milestones to consider dishing the dirt about your debt:

  • When things get serious. What does that mean? If you both agree you don’t want to see other people and want exclusivity in your relationship, things are probably getting serious. If you have that crazy, mind-altering feeling of actual love, it might be getting serious.
  • You start planning Big Things together. If you’re planning vacations or even moving in together, it’s time to put all your cards out on the table and come clean about your debt.
  • There’s bling involved. If there are talks of engagement, then it’s imperative you let the other know about your debt load. Your “happily ever after” depends on it.

Just don’t share too much too soon. April Masini, the relationship expert and author at AskApril.com, said, “Disclosing your debt to a date shouldn’t happen until after you’re monogamous and serious about a future together — in other words, not before the six-month mark of dating.”

Dating With Student Loans

Everyone has their own standards for what they are willing to put up with in a relationship and what they aren’t — you have to accept that student loans just might be a deal breaker for some people.

“Your student debt number may be a deal breaker if the debt load is abnormal,” explained Masini. “The reason is that it’s probably the tip of the iceberg…These numbers are usually symptoms of an absence of discipline or a practical plan. This doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or a bad date or future spouse — it just means there’s some baggage attached to this debt that probably goes beyond the money,” she said.

But while a large debt load may be a deal breaker for some, in other cases it can work out just fine.

For those dating with debt, it’s important for you and your partner to understand where you are both at and your plan. If you’re thinking of dating someone with student loans, Chenell Tull, founder of the personal finance blog Bright Cents, advises asking these questions before making a decision:

1. Is the person carrying the debt responsible and do they plan to pay it off, or do they complain about their situation constantly?

2. Do they make extra loan payments, or are they spending every additional dollar they bring in on “extracurricular” activities?

Having a payoff plan can go a long way and show that you are a responsible, committed person. Choosing to default like Lee Siegel did may very well be a deal breaker, as anything more serious than dating would mean dealing with the other person’s damaged credit and potentially garnished wages.

While being on the same page about student loan debt is important, it’s not everything — at least while you’re dating. Kara Perez, blogger behind From Frugal to Free, worked hard to get out of debt. She is now debt-free, but her boyfriend has amassed roughly $60,000.

“I’m very conscious of his debt, and it makes me a little uncomfortable. He was definitely uncomfortable sharing it, and while he pays more than the minimum each month, he doesn’t like to think about it,” Perez added.

She says it doesn’t really affect her relationship now, but admits “if we decide to really make a future together, it will be a conversation we have to have.”

If you’re dating with student loan debt, it’s important to navigate these conversations sooner rather than later and if things get serious, figure out how you will work together to pay off the loans.

Are you dating with student loan debt? What has been your experience?

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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.

Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.79% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.64% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of July 31, 2020, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.

Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.

The information provided on this page is updated as of 7/31/2020. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.

© 2020 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.


2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

All credit products are subject to credit approval.

Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.

As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.

  1. Checking your rate with Laurel Road only requires a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
  2. Savings vary based on rate and term of your existing and refinanced loan(s). Refinancing to a longer term may lower your monthly payments, but may also increase the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Refinancing to a shorter term may increase your monthly payments, but may lower the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Review your loan documentation for total cost of your refinanced loan.
  3. After loan disbursement, if a borrower documents a qualifying economic hardship, we may agree in our discretion to allow for full or partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan), provided that we receive acceptable documentation (including updating documentation) of the nature and expected duration of the borrower’s economic hardship. During any period of forbearance interest will continue to accrue. At the end of the forbearance period, any unpaid accrued interest will be capitalized and be added to the remaining principle amount of the loan.
  4. Automatic Payment (“AutoPay”) Discount: if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically from a bank account, the interest rate will decrease by 0.25% and will increase back if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically from the borrower’s bank account. The 0.25% AutoPay discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the discount is applied to the principal to help pay the loan down faster.

Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.

Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.

Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.

Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.

KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

This information is current as of September 9, 2020. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
 


3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: Fixed rates from 2.99% APR to 6.09% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.25% APR to 6.09% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.25% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 0.18% plus 2.32% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. See eligibility details. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. 

4 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.

Splash Financial Disclosures

Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount.

The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.

To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of September 10, 2020.


5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. ‍All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.16% effective August 10, 2020.

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

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