Bad Credit: Dating Deal Breaker


Images_of_Money

I have a confession to make. But first, a little back story.

A few months ago, I wrote about how the newest trend in dating is matching based on credit scores. I was appalled. But  no matter how appalling I find it, the idea is extremely popular.

The most popular sites, it would seem, are “Date My Credit Score” and “Credit Score Dating,” where, the tagline reads, “Good Credit is Sexy.” I have to admit that I never thought of it that way. In fact, I always thought credit scores were the opposite of sexy, but I guess something is wrong with me.

So here’s my confession: in the name of research, I joined the two sites I mentioned. Not only did I peruse the message boards, but I got the chance to look at profiles of both women and men. There were none of the typical profile multiple choice questions: hobbies, diet, music, movies, etc. All I saw was an income range, profession, age and location. In fact, the credit score was in the tagline for the profile! 

Credit score numbers range across a span from 300, the lowest there is, to 800 as the highest. The average person falls in the range of 600-720. But these scores would be unacceptable to the members on these site. In fact, the message boards at Date My Credit Score reflected this mind set. A thread was posted there, and the original poster stated that there was no way a relationship would last if one person had a credit score below 500. The overwhelming majority of responses that followed were in agreement.

Financial stability is important, yes, but what about all of the other things we use as criteria in finding a suitable spouse? What would we be left with if we chose a partner solely on their credit score?

That last question, I feel, answers itself. Is there any wonder why the divorce rate is so high?

One thing this investigation taught me: we are very fortunate to have CatholicMatch. Not one question on the profile brings forth this way of thinking about each other. Marriage minded members can stay focused on other things besides a number range.

What’s your opinion of credit score dating? Is it wise and prudent? Should marriage minded people stay focused on this? If this is all there is to dating in the secular world, where does that leave us as Catholics? I welcome your thoughts and opinions.






23 Comments

  1. Mike-174335 August 23, 2013 Reply

    there is something wrong with you if you think credit scores are the opposite of sexy. or did you not know that arguments about money have always been the #1 reason for divorce? seems to make more sense to know that someone has good finances and then fall in the love with them for the “right” reasons than to fall in love and later find out they are in dire straits…

  2. Linda-954866 August 23, 2013 Reply

    If someone is your match made from God then why couldn’t you work out the credit problem together and get credit repair help. I am sorry but I agree with the author. It is a superficial way of thinking to only go after people with a perfect credit score.

    • Mike-174335 August 23, 2013 Reply

      on the contrary, it is not superficial at all; it is being realistic, cautious, and most importantly – smart.
      “If someone is your match made from God then why couldn’t you work out the credit problem together and get credit repair help”
      why dont you ask that question of the millions of divorced people who did marry their “match made from God” and still couldn’t work out the credit problem. it’s far more prudent to make sure a potential spouse has their finances in order before getting involved with them. anyone who doesn’t do so in today’s economy is just. plain. dumb.

    • Brian-987904 August 26, 2013 Reply

      Good thinking, but let me tell you from personal experience. In my case the girl says she sees my way of thinking as good.. Then goes off continuing in their world of credit problems. Yes, credit worthiness should not be the first thought on your list but it is something to watch out for.

  3. Benedict-821540 August 23, 2013 Reply

    Credit scores are supposed to tell us something about how responsible the individual is. But it feels mercenary to be overly concerned at first with the other person’s credit history before you even know what the other person is like. You might ignore a wonderful person just because they made some mistakes once in their life.

  4. Sharmayne-801957 August 23, 2013 Reply

    I agree with Mike, that it make sense to know that someone has good finances. One of my best girlfriends had an extremely stellar credit scores, got married, and was plummeted to an extremely poor score because her beloved new husband failed to disclose a bad business deal for which she and he were now responsible. They’ve (mainly she has) worked very hard to re-establish a good credit score.

    • Debbie-514749 August 23, 2013 Reply

      I also agree with the author. Taking your friend as an example… What about the many very hardworking & responsible people who are divorced & left with poor credit due to bad decisions by their ex? You may passing up a real gem by placing so much emphasis on money numbers. Or maybe a very beautiful and responsible soul has other issues, like poor health preventing them from acheiving the highest scores…

      I try to take my cue from Christ… He doesn’t care what we have, how high our credit score, or even how productive we manage to be. He just cares who we are… A soul who follows Christ is a rare find, no matter what the numbers say…

      • Mike-174335 August 23, 2013 Reply

        “What about the many very hardworking & responsible people who are divorced & left with poor credit due to bad decisions by their ex?”

        what about them? no one is saying that such people are to be rejected categorically, but to be careful when selecting a potential mate who has poor credit/severe debt. obviously, it’s up to each individual to decide whether to get involved with someone they know to be have loads of debt or bad credit. I, for one, would not – why when there are others out there who are doing well financially? theres nothing wrong with listening to one’s head as well as the heart when looking for a spouse. unfortunately, our culture has popularized the notion of “love” being the sole reason to marry/date someone.

        • Sam-948516 August 23, 2013 Reply

          You seem to be missing the point of what the author is saying. Finances are important, maybe, in determining a relationship (though there are countless of examples where poor couples have had marriages and have had more happiness, children, and stronger faith than those who have plenty of money), but the main point of the author is to show that these sites consider finances first and most importantly. Not only is this shallow but it is contrary to the Catholic Church views on marriage as primarily the proper way to procreate and secondarily to find another individual who will help you get to heaven by strengthening faith etc. If your primary focus is money, then it seems like there is a tendency to love the money as opposed to the person and it places an overemphasis on a quality that is of the world, as opposed to what marriage is meant to focus on :the spiritual qualities of that individual, their Faith, whether or not they are good for you and will help you get to heaven.

          Money can be used as a means to heaven, but it is not an end in itself, which websites like the author points out seem to suggest.

          • Brian-987904 August 26, 2013 Reply

            Great point. I think my mom and dad were happier with less money. My sister and I had a blast when we were young. When my brother came around there was more money but less fun.

  5. John-49562 August 23, 2013 Reply

    Great article, Cate, as usual.

    What about the Bible verse (quoting out of context, of course), which states that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven. See, that rich man seemed to care the most about money, and less about pleasing Our Lord.

    Don’t get me wrong, financial stability is good, and what we should all aspire to, if not actually have, but it’s not the be all, end all.

    And, what if God has chosen someone for you whose credit is less than perfect–less than good, even. Many families start out poor, and work their way up from there. In fact, many families I knew when I was a kid, were poor, but the kids never knew it! God had chosen them to be together, and to bring up the children to respect money, not to obsess over it. Those were the days!

  6. Constance-954726 August 24, 2013 Reply

    This is silly. If you and your partners ultimate goal is heaven. Money should be the last thing on anyones mind. God does not care for your personal finances.

    My grandparents were a very strong catholic couple, particularly wealthy as he was a Barrister, and they had 6 children. Unfortunately though my grandpa did not know how to handle his finances well. His particular, weakness, was gambling, not only at leisurely horse races, but in business. This landed him in a terrible situation, in which he had to go to jail. And he lost everything. His house his money, and even to an extent his family (all his children were scattered, though they are all very close). Despite this, my grandmother kept by his side. Took hourly trips every weekend to visit him. Lived in a shabby one bedroom place. She knew he was a good man despite it all. And they became stronger as a couple through this. My grandpa came out of jail a new man.

    Credit scores mean nothing.

  7. Jeff-406043 August 24, 2013 Reply

    Nobody is perfect and to get a “perfect” credit score you need to be around 800 if you use Equifax. Last year, we had a financial seminar at work on credit scores and a kind, elderly man who was a member of our credit union told us how when he was younger he had some financial problems which took years for him and his wife to get out from, but they did and his score finally made it all the way back up to almost 800. He wanted to know “What do I have to do to get my credit score to being over 800? I somehow never seem to get it.” We were smiling at his determination and pointed out that if your score is almost 800, then you’re doing great!

  8. Elena-1001912 August 24, 2013 Reply

    I think it is very important that both husband and wife agree to economic fidelity and to work together as an economic team with no secrets or lying about money between the two. If one partner behaves dishonestly or dishonorably with money, it can sink a marriage and family. If one or both partners is feeding an addiction, including drugs, alcohol, sex, porn, gambling, debting, spending, or shopping, the marriage probably won’t last long. Honesty and compromise and consensus are key for financial decision-making in marriage. If you have a real financial problem or bad credit, get honest, tell your sweetie and seek help.

  9. William-792747 August 24, 2013 Reply

    There’s not much that can’t be worked out by a couple who love one another for who they are versus what they are. Let’s be honest: there are those who want to be taken care of, and there are those who want the position of caretaker. This may be a lasting relationship, but what kind of loving relationship is this?

  10. Joanna-615441 August 25, 2013 Reply

    Credit Scores have more to do with how you manage (pay) your debt vs how much money you have (or don’t have). You can have a lot of debt, but if you are paying your bills on time, have no charge off’s and have an account that has been open and paid current for over 10 years, your score is going to be higher.

    My score was in the high 700′s, when I was debt free. However when I incurred another mortgage, the score jumped to over 800.

    Depending on the situation, if someone is paying attention to their financial situation and plans accordingly, most $$ challenges can be handled without significantly affecting your score to the detriment. However, most people are so focused on the situation that caused the challenge that they miss the warning signs. (IE, a person going through a divorce may be so focused on the divorce that some bills miss getting paid or they do not close the joint accounts and one spouse goes crazy leaving the other holding the bag).

    I’ve spent my whole life being responsible and building my credit and financial reputation, it would take a lot of prayer and discernment to jeopardize it.

  11. Stephen-967868 August 26, 2013 Reply

    I find the notion of credit score dating sad. Talk about reduce a relationship to dollars and cents. In todays economic environment, unemployment has been high, and has been so for several years. A person may lose employment, through no fault of their own, such as corporate downsizing. This can send their credit score plummeting. Also, in many cases the marriage does break up where finances are a crucial issue. But the fiscally responsible partner will often carry the credit score of the spouse who continued to waste money and go into depth. That just a result of the divorce and community property laws in some states.. The solution, according to those who agree with credit score dating, is to rule them out as unfit partners. That is crazy.

  12. Ariana-951487 August 27, 2013 Reply

    I think the main problem with credit score dating is that if credit score is the primary focus, it implies that one is overly dependent on debt to finance one’s life and wants someone with good credit so that they can continue to use debt to finance their life.

    Christians should work to have good credit, as we should always repay what we owe. But we’re also told to avoid being enslaved to debtors in the first place. There are some people who barely have any credit history at all because they simply don’t use credit cards, finance cars, saved for a house (or perhaps inherited–not expected of everyone), etc. So I think the whole conversation should shift toward needing to be less dependent upon debt in the first place.

  13. Michael-1806 August 27, 2013 Reply

    Unfortunately, it’s no surprise. Often what the world finds popular is contrary to the Gospel message. It is unthinkable to use credit scores as a springboard for dating. Conflating financial success or stability with love is ridiculous at best. Of course, we would want our partners to be prudent in their decision-making, including financial ones, but credit scores aren’t the answer. The more important concern would be–when in a relationship–that there is honest communication. Ultimately, for those considering marriage, the existence of debt would have to be brought up or revealed. Student loans, mortgages and/or medical costs could theoretically have a person owing six figures. It’s just the world we live in. As for me, there is nothing that will keep me from the woman I love–the one God intends me to be with.

  14. Renee-956293 August 27, 2013 Reply

    For Mike and those who disagree with the author; I don’t believe that God is interested in your credit score when it’s your time to enter the ‘pearly gates’. Your behavior on earth and devotion to him is the deal-breaker, not your credit score. In fact the websites that concentrate on credit only create an atmosphere of how much your worth financially and that’s what people on those websites are concerned with. True love will always be second in line for those subscribers….

  15. Michael-992757 August 28, 2013 Reply

    how. true that when GETTING MARRIeD both must discuss finances especially if there are kids involved with Wedding. And finance is always high on list before getting married ..But please don’t let LOVE drop by wayside as no date_ switch..You may be surprised. to find because someone. is less than perfect life or perfect for you that Love can find that true LOVE CAN find way to solve it. Love s two way street should always consider that people have faults and are _Works in- process_

  16. Joseph R. August 28, 2013 Reply

    This topic hits close to home. How a person handles their financial responsibilities is just as important as how to handle to caring relationship. I have to admit I’ve had my own troubles with credit, and it does weigh on you as you enter into a relationship. So I would say to work on your credit worthiness if you want to enter into a serious committed relationship.

Post a comment