Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How Hot is your Credit Score?

What is the must have characteristic for the dating world of 2013? Is it a sleek sports car? Maybe it is a toned physique, or an impressive job title, or season tickets to a premier NFL team. According to a New York Times article, it is a good credit score. Are you surprised? I was. How often does your credit score come up in dating conversation?

None as far as I can remember, but this isn’t the case with all daters.  Jessica, one of the subjects of the New York Times article, also an attractive airline attendant was surprised on her first date with a finance officer when he asked about her credit score. He went so far to insist that a less than good credit score was a deal breaker for him. She acknowledged maybe her score wasn’t the best, but didn’t know what it was. Even though she thought the date went well, she still received the kiss off stating her score as the reason.

Why should credit scores matter? Eventually if you want to start a life together, a mate’s bad score will keep you from buying a house, or even renting an appropriate apartment. Car ownership and cell plans will come at a much higher price tag. If your low credit rating mate loses his job, he or she may have a harder time finding a new one.

Employers, potential employers, insurance companies, cell services, banks, and mortgage companies all have access to your credit rating. The job you were perfect for and didn’t get could be due to a low credit rating. Employers tend not to hire individuals with low credit rating because they view them as open to bribery and theft. Insurance companies need to know your credit score to evaluate if they might be scammed by an over insured house mysteriously burning down. Not only will dates drop you because of your credit rating, but insurance companies will too. If you date anyone from the mentioned companies, you can be assured they do know your credit rating. Maybe they shouldn’t you insist, trust me they do.

When two people become a couple, their individual debt becomes shared debt. No one truly wants to take on somebody else’s debt. Looking back, I will say I am resentful of paying off my ex-husband school loans, especially since I brought none to the marriage. Going back to the Times article, one man refused to marry his fiancĂ©e until she paid off her 150,000 in school loans. Realistically that probably won’t be happening soon unless she is pulling down good money. It makes me wonder if it isn’t an excuse to not marry or just be engaged forever with all the benefits  of marriage, but none of the actual commitment.

A bad credit score is similar to a STD. It is a secret that your date may hide from you knowing it might drive you away. How can you know without asking? You will probably be clueless unless you date the person for a while. Are they careless with their finances? Splurges on impulse buys, paying bills late, ducking calls from creditors and collection companies are all evidence. If he or she uses a credit card to pay for everything is another sign.

Do you even know your credit score? Might want look into that since even one missed account or a difference in opinion can ruin your score. A letter sent to the credit bureau documenting your efforts to clear up the problem will help your score tremendously. Another subject contributed his poor credit score to a disputed cable bill. 

The importance of a good credit score in a relationship has even spawned dating sites based on credit scores. You don’t have to worry about asking since members already have been vetted by the agencies such as Creditscoredating.com and Datemycreditscore.com .

Can a high credit score female ever find love with a low credit score man? That depends on why the person has a low credit score, and if he is working to remedy that situation. Often a man or woman can not only be blindsided, but also bankrupted by a partner who cleans out the shared accounts with an unannounced departure. The credit rating agencies do not care if you have a history of paying your bills in a prompt fashion for the last twenty years, they only care about your foreclosed home due to failure to sell after the split.

There is a two-fold problem when you choose to date by credit score. A good credit score does not equal a good match; maybe it hedges your bet some. You also automatically eliminate a person with a less than wonderful score who is working hard to change a score that dropped due to circumstances beyond his control. You have to ask yourself if you’re the person with the good credit rating if you’re willing to have everything in your name for the best rates.

Then again, a good credit score is just another way to slim down the field of possible dates, and eventual mates. We’ve all heard a variety of excuses not to continue a relationship from distance, religion, even lack of childbearing ability. Why not tack on credit score to the list?


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