Bad credit can cause a bevy of problems – the inability to obtain a loan, higher interest rates on loans you do receive, higher insurance premiums and even difficulty finding a job in certain industries. There’s now a new problem to add to this list – difficulty finding a date. For some eligible bachelors and bachelorettes, bad credit is a deal breaker.
I understand the importance of good financial habits, but a person’s credit score may not be a reflection of one’s current financial state. Sure, bad credit can cause strain on a relationship, but you really shouldn’t discount everyone with bad credit; in this post-recession era it can severely limit your dating pool.
A person could have a low credit score because she lost her job in the height of the recession and was unable to make a housing payment or pay a medical bill. Of course, the devil’s advocate answer to this situation is that she should have had a six-month emergency fund in place. Unfortunately, only about 1 in 4 Americans have six-months of savings set aside.
If I were still in the dating pool, then I’d be more concerned about current financial habits than the mistakes of the past.
Debra Rimbaud of Exeter, N.H., was one of a handful of people interviewed for a CNNMoney.com feature on dating and credit. Rimbaud explained her stance, “If the reason they have a low score was really out of their control — like a sickness and mounting medical bills — I would be able to somehow find a balance with that. But if I met someone who had a good job but was reckless with money and credit ... I would find myself having to discontinue the relationship.”
Another consumer featured in the story has a different take on the dating and finances issue. Jerry Koller of Irvine, Calif., said, “It's usually easy to pick up on whether a girl has bad credit. I see girls who open their wallet and you see dozens of credit cards and receipts stuffed everywhere and think, 'maybe they're not paying attention to their financials.' ”
I have a variety of cards in my wallets – credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, loyalty cards and more. Additionally, I have several receipts stuffed into my wallet at any given time, and I definitely know what is going on with my finances. I’d hate to think that someone could make such a quick judgment about me based on a single look into my wallet.
Giving Koller the benefit of the doubt, though, he goes on to explain, “It probably takes about five to six dates to tell.” I do agree, after five or six dates you should have a better idea of where your date stands financially, especially if you look beyond her wallet.
If you’re single, would you date someone with bad credit?
Related on MNN:
- $793.1 billion: Total U.S. credit card debt [Infographic]
- How to improve your credit score
- Do women pay more when using credit cards? [Infographic]
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