It was the perfect date, or so Jessica LaShawn thought. As she tells the New York Times, he was from a religious family, raised by his grandmother, and had a good job. The evening was going by wonderfully until he popped the question, “What’s your credit score?”
“It was as if the music stopped. It was really awkward because he kept telling me that I was the perfect girl for him, but that a low credit score was his deal-breaker,” Le Shawn recounted to the Times.
To add insult to injury, days after the disastrous date, Jessica received an apologetic text message reiterated that the problem the wasn’t her, but her credit score.
Of course it’s important to get to know a little bit about someone while dating, but asking for a credit score on the first date, is it me or does that just seem a bit tacky? Why not cover all the bases and make the interview complete before the waiter arrives with the final check?
“Hey, could you also provide me with your resume, BMI, hip to waist ratio, number of sexual partners, and ten years worth of medical records? And while you’re at it, throw in your social security number so I can do a complete background check on you as well.”
Twenty-five year old Josephine La Bella broaches the subject of credit scores soon after meeting someone. “I take my credit score seriously and so my date can take me seriously,” she told the New York Times.
Apparently the emphasis Ms. La Belle places on the credit score isn’t unique. Even Suze Orman suggested on Oprah that, “Before you get involved in a relationship or anything, FICO first, then sex,” referring to the ubiquitous FICO credit score.
According to New York Times interviews of 50 daters across the country, credit scores have become a bigger factor in dating decisions, sometimes eclipsing more traditional priorities like a good job, shared interests and physical chemistry.
Now you have to admit, 50 daters isn’t a big sample size, but it is something to consider that in today’s dating scene, apparently asking about a credit score is gaining the same importance as inquiring about STDs, baby-mama drama, and possible jail time served in the past.
And you can see why asking for a credit score makes sense. A poor credit score, for instance, could hamper a couple’s ability to purchase a car or home.
A poor credit score is often considered a sign of bad decision making. Employers seem to think so, as do insurance companies who base their employment decisions and insurance rates on credit scores. If a person is irresponsible with their money, how responsible are they going to be in a marriage, a potential spouse argues?
Some even claim the divorce rate is so high because we don’t properly vet our potential mates. We let emotions rule logical investigation. Why not do a little investigation into a potential mate first?
But let’s be realistic, bad credit scores happen to good people. Unexpected job losses, medical catastrophes, and crushing student debts hamper even the most conscientious among us.
And while it is crucial to learning as much as possible about a potential partner before saying “I Do,” automatically cutting and running on a date with a 540 credit score may not be the best strategy for finding Mr. or Mrs. Right.
BMWK: Do you think asking for a credit score is necessary in today’s dating scene? If so, when should the topic be brought up? At what point in your relationship did you ask your spouse about finances, STDs, potential jail sentences, and other sensitive topics?