40% of marriages begin in debt

By Staff | February 10, 2014 | Last updated on February 10, 2014
1 min read

Four in ten Canadian marriages begin in debt, finds a new poll. In fact, many couples owe more than $20,000 when starting off their new lives.

Nearly half (47%) of younger respondents (ages 25 to 34) have outstanding debt prior to their wedding days, with those who’ve been students carrying the highest amounts on average ($35,045).

Turns out, however, that older couples aren’t much better off. People between the ages of 45 and 54 often start their marriages with debts of about $19,000, says the poll.

Read: How to talk to Gen Y clients

Even worse, many people (36%) fail to talk about their debts during marriage discussions, says Ted Michalos, a bankruptcy trustee with Hoyes, Michalos & Associates. This means couples may not be figuring out how to deal with it before buying houses and starting families.

Read: In money matters, opposites don’t attract

Along with encouraging clients to discuss their finances, point out that people should weigh all the options before co-signing on a spouse’s pre-marital debts. Also ask those who are engaged if they’d like to consider pre-nuptial agreements.


Advise common-law clients to plan for split

How enforceable is a marriage contract?

Help couples blend financial plans

Advisor.ca staff


The staff of Advisor.ca have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.