Everyone knows a credit score in the U.S. of A is like a financial report card that grades on how well you handle debt. The credit report breaks down the score by giving details on what the debt consists of. Now, as much as I would LOVE to say “see ya, don’t wanna be ya!” to the credit score/report combo, it is an undeniable part of American society (grrr…). With all that said, and wanting to stir it up for my Lend Not Borrow readers, I wondered, do people use the credit score to size up a potential mate? Better said, when you are dating someone, do you have “check credit score” as part of your checklist?
I am well aware of how the credit score works. You use debt and the great “credit gods” (little ‘g’) determine how to grade you based on your performance. The grade (or score) is based on the following factors:
- Payment history (do you pay on time?)
- How much you owe
- The length of your credit history (the longer you interact with debt, the better!)
- Any new credit…
- …and the type of credit used.
Each of these categories weighs differently to determine the final score.
So, let me ask you this. Does the credit score really determine the level of maturity of an individual? Is this something you should look at when you begin dating someone?
There are many who believe people should check into the credit score before they get serious with someone (believe me; I’ve had conversations with them!). Suze Orman (one of my sheros!) said, “first FICO then sex”. Whoa!!!!! To many the FICO is a direct representation of how mature a person is. These people believe the way someone treats money is how they will treat a significant other.
I’ll be honest; I really have mixed feelings about this. True, I believe the credit score gives a general idea of how someone has handled money, whether it is a current issue or something that has happened in the past. I like the idea of not even having a score because I don’t entertain debt (meaning I’m debt free and financially self-sufficient!). So I wonder if I’m going through the process of not using credit, closing out my accounts, and living off of cash only, will there be harsh repercussions?
I get why and where people use the score to get an idea of how mature a person is, but I certainly don’t think that should be the primary method. To me, I would only look at a credit report once the relationship was at a point where we were discussing marriage and I would use the report only to see what debts were out there. If the score reflected bad financial decisions from the past, are we still going to hold that person accountable in a new relationship? Of course they still owe on the debt, but I think if a person is onboard to take responsibility of their past, then why not move forward?
LNB readers I trust you will share your 2¢ with me! Do you think it is important to look at the credit score of someone you are dating? If so, what does the score tell you about that person?Tweet