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Forget love. A new report says a lot more people consider credit scores an important factor when they're looking for love. (AP file)

For love and money: how credit scores have become a big part of dating

Love might be more important than money, but these days when it comes to matters of the heart your credit rating could be as important as Cupid's dart.

Credit scores have become a huge consideration in burgeoning relationships, according to a widely talked about New York Times story making the rounds Wednesday.

The story recounts one young woman's rude awakening when a budding relationship came to a crash after her would-be suitor told her a low credit score "was his deal breaker."

"Credit scores are like the dating equivalent of a sexually transmitted disease test," Manisha Thakor, the founder and chief executive of MoneyZen Wealth Management, a financial advisory firm, told the Times. "It's a shorthand way to get a sense of someone's financial past the same way an S.T.D. test gives some information about a person's sexual past."

It's happening all over. David Boze, filling in for Ross and Burbank, recounts how a friend of his had the unenviable task as maid of honor of telling all the guests arriving at her best friend's wedding the pending nuptials had been canceled.

"It was just before the wedding. She had discovered somehow that the man she was about to marry had significantly more debt than he had let on," Boze said.

Everything had seemed to be fine. But it wasn't. She couldn't over the fact the guy didn't have his financial house in order, despite her feelings for him.

"Ultimately she just decided there are too many questions here," Boze said.

Most ultimately supported her decision. And it's clear finances are an increasing concern for many in the dating market.

Josephine La Bella, 25, who works at a payroll company, told the Times blurting out her credit score on a first date actually led to a good conversation and since then she tries to bring it up as soon as possible after meeting someone.

"I take my credit score seriously and so my date can take me seriously," she said.

It might seem shallow, but experts say it can have a significant impact on a relationship long-term. A low credit score can keep you from getting a loan for everything from a new house to a car, and some potential employers even use the number of financial strength to vet prospective hires.

One 26-year-old told the Times her financial challenges put her romantic plans on hold because her boyfriend doesn't want to marry her until she can pay down a healthy chunk of her student loans and raise her credit score.

Many relationships don't get that far. Several small online web sites catering to singles looking for dates with good credit scores have recently emerged.

One such site, creditscoredating.com, touts "Good Credit Is Sexy," and allows members to view the credit scores of potential dates who agree to provide the numbers.

As for that woman who's relationship ended over her credit score? The guy eventually sent an apologetic text message with a new twist on an old line. It wasn't her. "It was my credit score."

Josh Kerns, MyNorthwest.com
Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter/anchor and host of KIRO Radio's Seattle Sounds (Sunday afternoons 5-6p) and a digital content producer for MyNorthwest.com.
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