A new survey shows almost half of newlywed couples in Canada begin married life with a debt burden.
The poll conducted by Harris/Decima for the bankruptcy and consumer proposal firm Hoyes, Michalos and Associates Inc. showed that newlyweds carry a burden on average of $21,503 on their wedding day.
The survey showed 47% of those aged 25 to 34 brought debt into the marriage, while those ages 45-54 on average brought almost $20-thousand debt, each, into the marriage.
Current students had the highest debt at just over $35,000.
“Of greatest concern is the apparent lack of communications” says Ted Michalos, a bankruptcy trustee with Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc. More than 1 in 3 (36%) said they did not discuss their debt with their spouse prior to getting married. “If you don’t discuss your debt you can’t make a plan to deal with it” adds Michalos.
The survey showed that of those in debt, about 60% managed to pay off the pre-relationship debt, but 46% added new debt (excluding mortgage) since being married.
The telephone poll across Canada involved 613 surveys during the month of January 2014.