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.
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.
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.