This study investigates the composition of newlywed couples’ debt portfolios as it affects their debt difficulty, measured via three different financial ratios – a solvency ratio, a liquidity ratio, and a debt repayment ratio. While about 90 percent of all couples had some debt, the newlywed couples all at the same family life cycle stage, had quite variable debt portfolios. Having charge account balances due, automobile loans outstanding, and other debt (including medical and educational debt and debts owed to family and friends) most consistently discrminated newlywed couples at risk for debt difficulty from other couples. Key Words: debt, financial ratios, debt portfolio

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