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Deep debt is a dating obstacle: survey

Canadian insolvency statistics show slight decline from multi-year high
Healthy finances can be key to sustaining a relationship | Tom Merton, OJO Images, Getty Images

With Valentine's Day approaching and many singles looking for love, a new survey confirms what many likely already knew: being deep in debt can turn off potential partners.

What makes matters worse for those seeking partners is that Canadian insolvencies recently hit a multi-year high – something that highlights that more people are unable to pay their bills.

A new report from the personal-finance website found 30 per cent of 1,846 Canadian singles surveyed between Jan. 22 and Feb. 2 said that they would not date someone who was deep in debt, and that deep debt is something that could end an existing relationship.

The only factors that were bigger turn-offs were a history of sexual infidelity (36 per cent) and a history of drug or alcohol addiction (33 per cent).

For some, part of the rationale for being in a relationship is to make life more affordable. About 13 per cent of Canadians surveyed said they want partners to help with expenses and ease the cost of living.

Dating can be expensive, though, as 13 per cent of those surveyed said that they view the cost of dating to be high enough to be a hindrance to finding love.

Thoughts about the financial ramifications of ending a relationship are common, as 17 per cent of those surveyed said that they have stayed in a relationship that they wanted to leave because they did not want to see a decline in their standard of living.

The survey was taken days before the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy released data for December that showed a total of 7,987 Canadian insolvencies – 13.8 per cent more than the 7,020 insolvencies in the same month in 2021.

Some good news is that December's total number of total Canadian insolvencies was down by about 18.4 per cent from the 9,784 insolvencies in November. That November total was the highest number since March 2000, when there were 11,198 insolvencies across the country.

Insolvencies in B.C. followed a similar trend, with 875 in December, down about 10.2 per cent from the 974 insolvencies in November. That November total was the most in a month since October 2019, when there were 1,077 insolvencies in B.C.

Insolvency is a financial state where someone cannot meet debt payments on time. It can lead to bankruptcy, which is a legal process that happens when someone declares that he or she can no longer pay back debts to creditors.

Struggles with debt have become more common thanks to inflation remaining high after hitting a 39-year peak of 8.1 per cent last June, interest rates at 15-year highs and COVID-19-related financial support long gone. 

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