First comes love, then…your credit score?
For many people, an individual’s credit score determines if they would actually date the person. Almost two in five adults say that knowing someone’s credit score would influence their willingness to date them, according to a new Bankrate report.
Mike Cetera, a Bankrate advisor, says that people who said yes to this question most likely were saying that they’d dump someone with a low credit score. “If you’re going to get in a relationship with someone, you probably don’t want your baggage attached to your partner where you have to rescue a sinking boat,” Cetera says.
This is especially true for women, with 43 percent of female respondents saying a credit score impacts their dating interest, while only 32 percent of men say the same.
Education levels also play a role. Almost half of college graduates say that knowing a credit score would play a role in whether they wanted to date someone, compared to just over one quarter of people with a high school diploma or less.
The relationship between education level and credit score might mean that in general, college graduates know more about credit and good credit habits than non-college graduates, Cetera says. “They’re more likely to be wary about getting into a financial relationship with someone who has a lower credit score, because that could mean financial problems.”
But don’t down an appletini on your first date and immediately ask for his credit score. Let’s see, which is more personal—“Have you been checked for STDs?” Or, “What’s your credit score?”
Still, if the relationship is serious, it’s reasonable to share information about finances, including debts and credit scores, and attitudes toward spending and saving.
“If your money philosophy is totally different from hers, you have two options. You can say what you believe and how you’re going to help the other person improve their financial habits, or you can say that it’s a deal breaker,” Cetera says.
Not only does a credit score reflect how someone manages their money, it might also affect events in the future. A new survey from Experian found that nearly one third of newlyweds had difficulty securing a home loan because of their spouse’s credit score. That could mean a delay in purchasing a house or having to ask a parent to cosign for a loan.
The survey also found that two in five newlyweds didn’t know their spouse’s credit score before walking down the aisle and one third were surprised by their spouse’s financial habits after marrying them.
Even if a low credit score isn’t a deal breaker for you, it’s still important to have a conversation with your partner about his financial habits so you don’t have any unexpected surprises down the road.