Your Financial Relationships: What’s Your Credit Score?
This post is part of our Your Financial Relationships series. This series is designed to help you discover the financial topics you should discuss with your significant other in order to have a financially healthy relationship. If you missed the first post, check it out here!
Is this the question that is going to replace “what’s your sign?” While not exactly first date material, if you are in a serious relationship, it is a question worth getting around to in one guise or another. Not so much for the credit score, chances are your date won’t know that anyway, but rather to open a dialogue on personal spending and borrowing habits.
With financial problems being the foremost cause of divorce in our country, having an open and honest discussion on the subject of credit, debt, financial goals and spending habits is a must if you believe your relationship has the potential to develop into a long-term commitment.
You might open the conversation by suggesting that you are considering applying for a personal loan, and ask if he/she has any suggestions or recommendations for a lender. If you get a referral to Larry’s Jewelry and Pawn, you may have learned all you need to know!
Ideally though, this question may open the door to a broader financial discussion and provide you important insights into his/her financial philosophy and general attitude toward money.
Some people choose a direct approach as reported in this The New York Times story of a Chicago flight attendant whose date popped the question over dessert—on a first date! In my view, this move screams gold-digger if asked by the woman and insensitive jerk if asked by the man.
Get a Clue!
If you’ve been dating for a while, you should already have some clues. Who pays for dinner? Is it always you? Does your date frequently forget their wallet/purse? Does your date ask to borrow money? There are clues to your date’s financial health. All you need to do is be alert to them.
I get it! The credit score of a potential partner is important. It can mean the difference between buying a home and renting. Purchasing a new car or being forced to pay cash for a second-hand clunker. It is one indicator of what your quality of life may be.
You Can’t Fix Stupid
I’m a big fan of comedian Ron White’s quip, “You can’t fix stupid.” White was explaining to his audience that when choosing your partner, it is important to understand that breasts can be enhanced, butts can be implanted, teeth can be straightened, faces can be lifted … but you can’t fix stupid. For Ron White, stupid was a deal-breaker. By this logic, a poor credit score doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker in your relationship. Credit scores can be repaired … just like crooked teeth.
People that are dating are conscientious about their appearance. They go on diets, get implants, dye their hair, fuss over make-up, get hair-transplants and buy gym memberships. To put it succinctly, they are pro-active. In this brave new world, it seems appropriate to work on your credit score as well as your waist-line.
Making an effort to improve your credit score and your overall financial health before you face the “what is your credit score” question, may be the best approach in these changing times.
Check back each Tuesday as we explore more questions you should ask your significant other as part of your exploration of your financial relationship. Has a love interest ever straight up asked you “what’s your credit score?” How have you approached the topic in your relationships?