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Single and With Credit

28 December 2012 by

Single and With Credit

It was just a matter of time. For years, we’ve heard about how important our credit scores are; we have been told time and again that our credit history can determine how much we pay in interest on our credit cards, our cars and our homes. We know it can determine whether or not we get that dream job offer and we know it can determine how many resources are made available when it comes time to send our little ones to school. Here’s what you might not know, though – and really, it was only a matter of time before this became part of the “get to know you” phase of modern dating: that blind date just might ask you about your credit history.

One writer who’s single and knows well the importance of a credit score in today’s contemporary dating scene said,

These days, men and women want to know they’re falling in love with someone who can balance a checkbook. It’s like the pre “pre-nup”. The pre-nup protects someone after they’re married but the pre pre-nup ensures they’re falling in love with someone who values the material things as much as they and and who has the proper discipline to live a certain worry-free lifestyle.

Single Person’s Fear

Every single person out there fears this. Many have great scores, they’re single, after all – but there are many who’ve faced the same financial setbacks as any other American. No one wants to be asked about their credit scores – and certainly not on the first date; it sort of removes that romantic element, right? But make no mistake – many first dates have the usual “What’s your sign?” “Who’s your favorite band?” “Can you cook (or shoot pool or rebuild a hard drive or shoot a gun or grow a garden or keep the peace)?” and “Do you want kids?” but there are now those new questions that include, “What’s your FICO?” and “Do you own your home?” And when they’re asking whether or not their date owns their home, what they’re really asking is if their credit score is strong enough to support a mortgage.

One woman, who felt like honesty was the best policy but who was taken aback when her date asked her what her credit scores were, felt like she was judged and dismissed,

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.

While we equate it to a “pre-nup”, others have a different take.

Credit scores are like the dating equivalent of a sexually transmitted disease test,

said Manisha Thakor, founder and chief executive of MoneyZen Wealth Management, a financial advisory firm. That’s one way of putting it. Regardless of what kind of metaphors you choose, it still comes down to the same thing – a huge consideration in the dating world these days.

One woman, 25 year old Josephine La Bella puts it this way,

I take my credit score seriously, and so my date can take me seriously,

she said. She continues,

It’s the only grade that matters after you graduate.

But really, how much does another’s credit score really affect you? And when is the best time to delve into it. For those who could run a credit check at the dinner table if it was acceptable table manners says it’s quite important from the very beginning. Dating someone whose credit has had a few red marks has its implications. If their scores are too low, they’re going to struggle with buying cars or qualifying for credit cards. If you fall in love, then what? You’re going to have to deal with some of the repercussions, even in an indirect manner. And if that love carries the two of you down the aisle, then it really does become your problem.

Can’t Buy Me Love

But maybe a more important question is one humans have wrestled with since the beginning of time: can money – or in this instance, the ability to access money – really buy happiness? It may not be as black and white as you think.

When I met Ginger, she had been a single mom of two boys for several years. Her ex-husband hadn’t paid child support, well, probably ever, and she was struggling just to maintain her minimum payments on her Visa, which she only used in emergencies anyway. None of that mattered to me. I saw this amazing woman who knew how to budget her money, but she simply didn’t have any money left to budget after covering her expenses every month. No matter how difficult her financial situation was, she was a beautiful mother to her sons and I knew she would be an incredible wife to anyone lucky enough to convince her to marry. I wasn’t about to let someone else get that opportunity. That was fifteen years ago. Her problems became my problems and when that happened, those problems were easy for me to fix. She’s given me an incredible love and a beautiful family – looking back, I definitely got the better end of that deal.

Maybe it really does come down to love conquering all. Maybe not. Maybe it’s just as simple as finding someone who shares the same values as you. If a strong credit score is more important than the sentimental aspect, that’s what you should look for. If, though, it’s more about finding a partner such as Ginger’s husband, then the financial aspects will take a back seat. Either way, if you’re a single person in the dating world today, odds are, you’re going to find yourself facing those credit score questions at some point.

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