Good job, check. Shared interests, check. Chemistry, check. He seems like a perfect 10. Both of you enjoy your first date and while getting ready for the second, you dare to imagine that turning into another and another, and possibly happily ever after.
Then one decidedly unromantic question comes to mind: What is his credit score?
Reviewing a potential partner’s credit score and report is important to many singles who are looking for lasting love. According to Bankrate.com, 42 percent of Millennials said that knowing someone’s credit score would affect their desire to date them, slightly more than 40 percent of Gen Xers and 41 percent of Baby Boomers.
They may be on to something.
Research shows that knowing someone’s credit history and sense of financial responsibility could save people time – and potential heartache. A UCLA study about money and love shows a very strong link between high credit scores and long-lasting relationships. People with drastically different credit scores may experience more financial stress down the road, placing a burden on a relationship.
An Experian report reveals 60 percent of people believe it’s important for their future spouse to have a good credit score, and 25 percent of people from the UCLA study were willing to leave a partner with poor credit before marriage so they aren’t held back.
While that three-digit number doesn’t tell a person’s whole financial story, it can reveal financial habits that could impact your life. Banks are wary of making loans to borrowers with tarnished scores, typically 660 and below. A low score could quash dreams of buying a home, and result in steep interest rates, up to 29 percent, for credit cards, car financing and other unsecured loans.
A mid-range credit score can also hurt an application for an apartment and drive up the cost of mobile phone plans and auto insurance. Eight states have passed laws limiting employers’ ability to use credit checks when assessing job candidates, yet 13 percent of employers surveyed by the Society of Human Resource Management performed credit checks on all job applicants.
Talking spending styles and revealing credit scores sooner rather than later in a relationship isn’t necessarily comfortable. But it may help you decide whether you have compatible financial outlooks and practices.