Remember love at first sight? It may still exist, but there’s something else about you a potential love match may want to see that might make him or her really fall head over heels for you: your credit score. A poll done a while back by FreeCreditScore.com revealed that roughly 30% of women and 20% of men would refuse to marry someone with poor credit, and as many as 57% of men and 75% of women indicated that credit score would be a relevant factor in deciding whether to date someone.
So…does it really make sense to weed out potential love matches on the basis of credit score? While people may disagree about the matter of using credit score, specifically, as a disqualifier, the underlying issue is not only reasonable, but smart, for anyone considering a partner: one’s overall approach to money and personal finance.
Just what accounts for this greater interest in drilling down a prospective partner’s financial wherewithal? There are several reasons, but they all revolve around the fact that it has simply become more difficult in the last several decades to succeed financially. Many young college graduates, for example, have burdensome student loan debt, with accompanying, significant monthly obligations that will last for decades. Beyond that, the reality of poor credit is that it can keep people from purchasing houses, cars, and other “big ticket” items for which most…even the financially sound…rely on loans to facilitate.
What, then, do you do? Exchange credit reports at the first date? While it may come to that in the future, it’s not necessary. The most important thing is to keep your eyes and ears open. Someone beset by an inability to properly handle his or her money will show evidence of that inability in relatively short order. First dates may not reveal much about a person’s financial profile, but as more time is spent with another, opportunities to see stacks of late bills piled up on the kitchen table, or hear collection phone calls coming in on a cell phone, will abound.
Something else…and this can be particularly tough…is to be disciplined enough to walk away from someone you otherwise like very much if that person appears to be a poor money match. Note that when I say “poor money match,” I’m not talking about someone who is in a different economic stratum; I’m speaking about someone who simply has a different idea about how money should be managed on a day-to-day basis. The best match in a relationship is between two people who share the same core values, and disparate approaches to money are a strong indicator of dissimilarity in that regard.
The matter of credit score as a dating criterion has become so popular that an online dating site highlighting that very piece of information as a part of its matchmaking mechanism has arisen. Creditscroredating.com is the site, and while the folks behind it indeed seem interested in capitalizing on the greater attention being paid to credit scores by increasing numbers of daters, it should be noted that credit scores are self-reported by those who use the site, suggesting that the legitimacy of using credit scores as screens, in this case, may be suspect.
Nevertheless, the “big picture” issue here is the one not to miss: more and more Americans are reacting strongly to the new financial landscape characterizing the country, and dating…which was never easy to begin with…now appears to have an additional, complicating factor with which to wrestle.
The information contained here is for general information purposes only. The Financial Writer blog and Bob Yetman disclaim responsibility for any liability or loss incurred as a consequence of the use or application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein. Nothing contained in this article, or any other article featured at this blog, should be construed as a solicitation or recommendation to engage in any financial transaction. You should seek the advice of a qualified professional before making any changes to your personal financial profile.