First comes love … then comes a credit check.
For many singles, bad credit can be a deciding factor when it comes to finding love. About 30% of women and 20% of men say they won’t marry someone with a low credit score, according to a new poll from FreeCreditScore.com that polled 1,000 adults.
Most respondents also said that financial management skills are just as important as appearance in deciding whether someone is worth pursuing.
This is especially true for women, with almost all of the women surveyed ranking financial responsibility and financial compatibility as more important or just as important as career ambition, physical attraction and sex and intimacy, depending on the investigation.
Men surveyed said financial literacy was just as important as physical attraction, slightly less important than sex and intimacy, and much more important than career ambition.
While 57% of men say credit scores play a role in their dating decisions, 75% of women said they factor in the number rating. Credit scores are calculated based on your payment history, amount owed, types of credit you have, and number of years of credit you have.
Linda Basloe, a 57-year-old woman from Herkimer, NY, with excellent credit, said she wouldn’t even give a man her numbers until she knew her credit score.
“I definitely see bad credit as a deciding factor,” she said. “I wouldn’t even consider anyone in this situation – the joke about me has always been ‘please complete a credit application and I will consider [you]. ‘”
Why so much concern about this magic number? Respondents said they were concerned that a partner with bad credit could hurt their chances of qualifying for home loans, car loans or lower interest rates and that they would be irresponsible to manage joint finances. .
Basloe said she worked hard to achieve financial independence and didn’t want a relationship with someone who was financially irresponsible to ruin that.
“I wouldn’t get attached to someone knocking me down – on the mortgage side, or when it comes to buying a bigger house or even [qualifying for] insurance rates – it affects every aspect of your life, “she said.” No matter how good-looking, it won’t pay off the mortgage. ”
But whatever its importance, it can be a tricky subject to broach. About half of survey respondents spoke of their credit score with romantic interest, 39% discussing in the first year of a relationship, 21% discussing before committing to a relationship, and 19%. % by comparing scores before moving in together. Barely 1% discussed their scores on a first date.
Basloe doesn’t ask someone for their credit score before dating because she thinks they could easily lie, but she looks for red flags. She scans the local newspaper for people who owe back taxes, pays attention to what type of car a man drives, and whether he has bought a house or is still renting it.
Jerry Koller, 50, from Irvine, Calif., Said he ended a budding romance years ago after seeing piles of unopened bills and rental notices in the kitchen of his date.
“I went to dinner and asked her about her credit and she told me she couldn’t buy a car recently because her scores weren’t good,” he said. “[I] made it a last date. ”
To meet the credit junkies, there are even dating sites where you can find someone in your score range. On Creditscoredating.com, credit scores are factored into the matchmaking process, matching you with users who have similar scores. However, since the scores are self-reported, it’s hard to tell if someone is telling the truth.
According to the site’s rating guide:
“800-850 is’ DING DING DING WEDDING POTENTIAL ‘750-800 is’ take it home to mom’ 700-750 is a ‘repairman’ 650-700 is’ fun for a night out, maybe, but bring cash ‘600-650 is’ keep looking’! ‘; anything below 500 is’ RUN because they won’t even get a car loan, probably, and how bad it will be embarrassing at PTA meetings? ‘ 200, it’s ‘this person is just pulling your leg and is really royalty.’ ”
Likewise, Texas matchmaker Melanie Matcek said she checks clients’ backgrounds before helping them find love. While she doesn’t pull their credit rating, she says she can get a clear picture of their financial situation and know if they’ve ever had any legal issues that would have impacted their credit.
“If they are financially unstable, they are eliminated,” she said. “I have met many single people who are looking for someone to ‘save’ them. It is a recipe for disaster. Everyone must first be able to stand on their own feet.”
CNNMoney (New York) First published on July 24, 2013: 5:58 a.m.ET