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Don’t Let Student Loans Wreck Your Love Life

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Student loan debt having an impact on your lust for life? You’re not alone.

A third of student loan borrowers report that their debt has decreased their sex drive, according to a new study by Student Loan Hero, an online resource for student borrowers.

Shannon Insler, a lead researcher on the study, dug into the love lives of more than 1,000 people with student loan debt. The goal of her study? Understanding the physical manifestations of debt stress.

Two surprising side effects? Diminished libido and delayed “adulthood.”

Here’s what Insler also found:

Over a third of student loan borrowers have lied about their debt to their partner. A quarter have kept it a secret from their partner. 18 percent said it’s okay to lie about money.

The study corroborated research showing that debt worries lead to postponed relationship milestones.

Insler found that 46 percent of respondents delayed starting a family, 35 percent delayed talk of marriage, 25 percent delayed moving in together, and 13 percent even delayed a first date.

Cool the debt shame

Talking about student loan debt shouldn’t be shameful, especially considering that 70 percent of graduates are coming out of school with loans to pay, and more than 44 million Americans have student loan debt.

What’s more, the average student loan debt is $30,156, totalling $1.4 trillion in outstanding student loan debt, according to The Federal Reserve.

The good news, Insler’s study shows that people are open to choosing a partner with debt.

“They’re looking at the bigger picture,” Insler says of respondents. “It’s more important how their partner manages the debt than whether they have it at all.”

“If the love of your life has a ton of debt, you can figure it out,” says Erin Wiley, a licensed therapist based in Toledo, Ohio who worked with the researchers.

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