Even if you’re single, your personal credit score matters to other people beyond just your landlord and lenders. In fact, a new survey from Discover Financial Services and Match Media Group (parent company of the Tinder dating app) found that 69% of the 2,000 people surveyed agreed that financial responsibility is an extremely important quality to them when it comes to finding a romantic partner. Surprisingly, financial responsibility ranked higher than a sense of humor (67%), attractiveness (51%), and ambition (50%).
What does this mean for your dating life? If you have a good credit score, then perhaps that is one detail worth mentioning at some point in the dating phase. But, on the first date, it might be a bit strange to drop into the conversation.
If your credit score is in the poor to the fair range, then you might want to ramp up your efforts to improve it because the Discover/Match Media survey found that a higher credit score was associated with greater trustworthiness and intelligence as well. Not that these associations are inherently true. It’s just how others perceive people with good credit scores.
How Your Credit Score Affect Your Love Life
You have to consider carefully how to merge finances after marriage. If you’re wondering about how your credit score could impact your dating life, here are some other considerations the survey tackled.
Seeking: Financial Responsible Singles
When asked about what they think about people with good credit scores, the survey respondents said that it is: more attractive than having a nice car (58%), more attractive than having a great job title (50%), and more attractive than a physically fit body (40%). Better yet, financial responsibility is highly valued by both sexes, as 77% of women and 61% of men in the survey agreed that good financial management is a very important quality they seek in potential romantic partners.
This means that personal financial management is more important than we might have realized because even if you don’t feel concerned about the state of your finances, it might matter a lot more to someone you’re dating. A 2015 Federal Reserve report on credit scores and committed relationships even found that your relationship is more likely to last if you’re dating someone with a similar credit score. If you’re single, then here’s an extra boost of motivation to work on your credit score to improve your odds of success in the dating pool.Recently, @Tinder found that 69% of people think a good credit score is extremely important in a mate.Click To Tweet
Long-Term Financial Outlook
It’s important to be on the same page when it comes to couples and money management because a thrifty partner or spouse dating or married to someone who loves splurging on a regular basis can lead to quite a bit of conflict in that relationship. If you’re the budget-conscious, money-saving side of the relationship, then you wouldn’t want to deal with the stress of watching your partner (or spouse) dipping into your joint bank account or coming up short for shared expenses (e.g., rent or dining out) because they went on one too many shopping sprees recently. If you’re the impulsive shopper in the relationship, then you might not want to be lectured at every time you make a non-essential purchase simply because the money could’ve been saved for something else.
In short, there’s a reason why money is one of the number one causes of fights in romantic and familial relationships. So much of our lives are tangled up in finances, which is probably why financial management ranks so highly among survey respondents in the dating pool.
While your credit score might be somewhat low at the moment because of unforeseen circumstances in the past – medical debt, a big purchase you regret and already beat yourself up for, or undisciplined financial management when you were younger – there is always room to develop healthier financial habits and potentially secure long-term romantic relationships as a result.
Avoid Awkward Credit Score Talks
Whether you have an awesome credit score or a poor score, the fact remains that bringing up your credit score on a first date would be incredibly awkward and probably out-of-place. Your credit score matters when it comes to deciding whether to make a relationship more serious or even get engaged, but it’s most likely not something you’ll want to brag about in your dating profile or show off in a first date conversation.
Instead, credit score discussions should happen when you’re in that phase of deciding whether to see other people or pursue the relationship further. You won’t want to point-blank ask your date: “So, what’s your credit score?” A better approach would be to bring up money management in a general conversation and, if you have a good score, mention it, or if you have a bad score, explain what you’re actively doing to improve your financial management (this demonstrates you’re at least trying!).
How to Improve Your Credit Score
If you want to improve your credit score, then there are several ways to accomplish this:
- Pay off your debts, starting with your highest-interest credit card(s) – at the very least, pay more than the minimum balance on your cards each month if your income allows for it
- Limit your credit card spending to non-discretionary, non-grocery items and use your debit card or cash more often (lower credit usage percentage = higher score)
- Don’t apply for new loans or credit cards for a while if you can avoid it (fewer “hard pulls” on your credit report within a 2-year timeframe will lead to a higher score)
- Take out a secured credit card to demonstrate responsible credit usage to the 3 major reporting bureaus over the next several months
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Will someone refuse to date you or ditch you on the first date simply because your credit score is poor or fair? Most likely not. However, for a long-term romantic relationship, your credit score really matters to people seeking financially stable, lifelong partners, so there’s no better time than now to increase the perception that you’re responsible with your money and pay less interest by reducing your debts and building your credit score today.