For Kevin O’Leary, finance guru and star of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” there’s one thing that should be a financial deal breaker when it comes to your relationship with a significant other: too much debt.
“If the person you’re interested in wants to buy everything on debt, that’s just not going to work out,” O’Leary tells CNBC Make It. “It really isn’t, because at some point there’s a breaking point where you can’t afford the burden of interest you’re paying on all the crap you bought that you didn’t need.
“You don’t want to be dating that person, you don’t want to be married to them,” he says.
O’Leary isn’t alone in deeming debt a deal-breaker: A recent survey of over 2,000 Americans from personal finance site Finder found that 72 percent of Americans say they would reconsider a romantic relationship because of a person’s debt. The survey found that what type of debt your partner racks up matters, too, with credit card debt (56 percent) being the least desirable type of debt, followed by student loans (52 percent) and then payday loans (49 percent).
But for O’Leary, “if you want to find financial freedom, you need to retire all debt,” he previously told CNBC Make It. He says taking care of debt is the best thing you can do for yourself, for a significant other and for your future family.
So by the third date with a potential mate, O’Leary says it’s time to talk money: “Just ask what people’s aspirations are in terms of where they see themselves in five years,” O’Leary says. “How much debt do they have now?”
If you’re not comfortable with the answers, “find somebody else that has your same financial objectives,” O’Leary says.