Dating Your Credit Score
Tuesday Dec 24, 2013 - BY Stacey
Would you check a potential boyfriend or girlfriend’s credit score before agreeing to start getting serious?
In these down economic times, that’s a question that dating folks are asking and being asked. In a New York Times article, Jessica LaShawn recalled being asked about her credit score on a first date that seemed to be going very well. “It was really awkward because he kept telling me that I was the perfect girl for him, but that a low credit score was his deal-breaker,” she said.
While a first date may be the wrong to broach the topic, it is certainly advisable to learn about your significant other’s finances before you really commit.
“Credit scores are like the dating equivalent of a sexually transmitted disease test,” said Manisha Thakor, the founder and chief executive of MoneyZen Wealth Management, a financial advisory firm.
Just as you ask for your partner’s sexual history, you should also ask for his financial history. Remember, this is a person you might try to buy a house with down the line–his credit score certainly matters.
Several credit scored-themed dating websites have sprung up to meet the needs of the numbers savvy crowd–from Date My Credit Score to Credit Score Dating. (Granted, the names aren’t entirely clever, but the more creative types that would come up with better copy probably don’t qualify to use these sites.)
Money and the negative impact it can have on relationships is a big theme throughout my book, You Can’t Afford to Break Up: How an Empty Wallet and a Dirty Mind Can Save Your Relationship. And in a recession such as the one we’re experiencing, money is certainly a stressor for an even greater number of couples. It makes sense that one would try to avoid that sort of anxiety if at all possible.
But should the credit score be the be all and end all? Is it wise to vet potential partners the same way employers do with job applicants?
While having a bad credit score can make things more difficult, consider the age of the person. Has this person just graduated from college? Or grad school? Are their income and payment habits fixed or is there room for them to change and grow? Is their present state the result of a rough start in adulthood? And if so, should you forgive him for that?
The key here is being able to recognize a willingness to assume responsibility and change. If your date has a million excuses and foists the responsibility onto someone else, perhaps that is reason enough to end the relationship. But if she made some bad choices and is trying to get back on track then maybe you should give her a chance.
After all, no one should be reduced to solely to a number–whether it’s height, weight, or (ahem) length.