How Important Is Your Date’s Credit Score?

Here’s an interesting article I received from a  reader:


When it comes to love, Martina Paillant won’t settle for someone who has a credit score below 700.

“I need a man who has his life together and can pay his bills,” the 22-year-old Canarsie, Brooklyn, resident tells The Post.

Paillant, who attends graduate school in Miami, asks potential suitors their credit scores by the fourth date. While some may call her snooty for checking someone’s FICO number before becoming Facebook official, she’s been focused on her finances since she was 16 years old and has a credit score above 800.

“I was raised in a family of professionals who keep their finances in check and taught me how to handle my money,” says Paillant, who splits her time between Miami and Brooklyn. “I have no student loans and I can already take care of myself financially. I need a man who can take care of himself, too.”

Twenty-two and bragging about a credit score in the eight hundreds?? Bless her heart.  My score was in the eight hundreds when I was twenty-two, too. Oh, and she “splits her time” between Miami and Brooklyn? She’s adorable. The only people I know who “split their time” anywhere are rich folks. She has no student loans? Let me tell you something: the only kids who have no student loans are kids who have parents with money. Trust me. So this girl needs to take a whole row of seats. She reminds me of an ex’s wife who likes to brag online that she and her husband bought a penthouse together when in actuality he bought it years before he met her.

Khalfani-Cox says credit scores are also a practical way to see if a partner knows how to prioritize and can be depended on to follow through on prior commitments. Bronx resident Equana Cobb was on a date last year when the guy started talking about buying a car and other big-ticket items, only to find out later that he still lived with his mom.

“I had to ask him about his credit score,” says Cobb, a 32-year-old graduate student. “It’s a way to see that he knows how to pay his bills on time.” While she was satisfied with his high-600s rating, they split a month later.

Yes, a good credit score does indicate that someone pays their bills on time, but if they’re making minimum payments and racking up interest, then that’s not financially responsible.  Do better.

Bronx resident Equana Cobb was on a date last year when the guy started talking about buying a car and other big-ticket items, only to find out later that he still lived with his mom.

“I had to ask him about his credit score,” says Cobb, a 32-year-old graduate student. “It’s a way to see that he knows how to pay his bills on time.” While she was satisfied with his high-600s rating, they split a month later. “If a guy has a credit score in the 650s and says that he’s working to build his credit, I’d definitely still consider him,” she says. “But I’m in my 30s and I’m not wasting my time with someone who doesn’t want to level up and take care of their finances.”

LOL. Says the woman with a credit score in the six hundreds. Not that a score in the six hundred range is bad. It isn’t. But it certainly isn’t great or even very good by credit bureau standards. It’s average. Get over yourself.

“A man’s credit score has nothing to do with his income,” Khalfani-Cox says. “It tells the person’s level of fiscal responsibility and how they’ve handled past obligations. A person with a high credit score shows they’re trustworthy, responsible and reliable with their finances.”

Except it doesn’t.  You know what kind of people believe this? People who’ve never struggled financially because they never took on much responsibility. I’ve mentioned before that I have a score around 750. Is that a good score? Absolutely. However, my credit to debt ratio is minimal. Why? Because I don’t have  a significant credit history. I also don’t have a mortgage or student loans. I had it pretty easy. My friend J., who makes twice what I make, bought her own apartment at 27 and put herself through business school has a lower score than me. Does that make her less financially responsible? Absolutely not. She just has more debt than I do. However, the debt she has is considered “good” debt whereas credit card debt is considered “bad” debt. So, someone could have a credit score in the eight hundreds, but that could mean that they live at home or didn’t go to college or that they rent their apartment or make minimum payments. A lower score could indicate that the person has taken on more responsibility. You have no idea why someone’s score is low. Maybe they got sick. Maybe they made an investment that went sideways. Maybe they got laid off.  Maybe they had to take out  a loan.  There are plenty of reasons why someone’s score is low that has nothing to do with financial irresponsibility.

That’s how Philadelphia couple Amanda and Devon Buchanan met in 2014. After both were burned by former flames with bad financial histories, they signed up for, which matches users based on their credit history. Amanda and Devon’s scores were both in the low 600s.

They went on their first date in July 2014 and married nine months later.

“A big part of why our relationship worked out was because we were upfront with our finances,” says Amanda, a human resources manager.

Aaaand there it is. The product placement. Who the fuck is signing up for a website that requires users to reveal their credit score? Unless they’re giving the site their social security information (which is totally sketchy) most people are going to lie. So what’s the point? This is not a thing.

I have a hard time believing any man or woman would cough up their financial history to someone they barely know. Again I will say that the only people who actually believe asking such questions of strangers are people with very little life experience.

I will take experience with an average credit score over a perfect score and lack of sophistication any day of the week.



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15 Responses to “How Important Is Your Date’s Credit Score?”

  1. NewEnglandMan Says:

    I happen to think credit is important when it’s someone you want to seriously consider as a partner. I got burnt several years ago by someone with terrible credit–I’d never even thought about credit being important before that happened. Since then, I’ve never asked for nor have I ever gotten the credit score of someone I’m dating. But I’ve definitely paid attention to how they deal with finances and how financially literate their parents/family are. For me, it’s one of the important things I look for along with education, political compatibility, and how well she takes care of her health.

    Like I said, I’ve never gotten an actual credit score from a date before, but I think if I found out early on that she had a bad credit score, it would make me think twice about continuing to date that person. And I think doing it that way has come from life experience and having more sophistication rather than being unsophisticated.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    How do people even find those dating websites?! Yes, I know, google, but still…

  3. mxf Says:

    I think a compatible relationship to money is one of the most critical factors in relationship success. It’s up there with sex and general parenting styles, then trailed by political or religious views.

    Not a credit score, but an approach to financial well-being in general, or a willingness to learn. I know where every hot red cent of mine is at any given time because that stuff interests me, but I know a lot of people don’t think that way. My SO, for instance, has earned comfortably enough throughout his adult life to have a bit of an abstract, feast-or-famine approach, instead of a planned one. That’s fine but it’s left him less able to prepare longer term. I’ve made it clear that if we join forces in a way that includes assets, he’ll need to start working with someone who can help him organize on that front. I have zero interest in being financially linked to someone on a rollercoaster.

    This wasn’t part of the question, but I also fully believe in separate finances, working with a neutral financial advisor if possible and pre-nups for any later in life marriages. I’m romantic about love for everything except money. Twenty-year-olds with nothing can afford to be starry-eyed idealists. When it comes to finance, I want a pragmatist.

    • BTownGirl Says:

      Well put! One of my friend’s husbands was up to his tuchus in credit card debt before they got married (the classic equation of lack of financial guidance from parents + credit card companies giving cards to 18 year-olds + student loans + teacher’s salary = trouble) and she had him sit down with another one of our friends who’s a financial planner. They figured out a budget to pay everything off, he stuck to it and they bought their first home together.

  4. Eliza Says:

    Asking for a credit score, to go on a simple initial date?! How obnoxious. Don’t people need to see if there is initial chemistry, repour, compatibility first? I can see doing your due diligence (sorry, work in the legal field)…once you get serious enough to consider marriage or co-habituating arrangements. You don’t want to inherit someone else’s liabilities of course. I would think most women or men don’t want to get serious with someone that is “couch surfing” well into their 30’s. LOL! But time reveals most, and in due time, people should have certain discussions and be communicative. But I agree, that a credit score alone is not indicative of someone’s level of responsibility. It’s not a black and white matter.

  5. BTownGirl Says:

    Oh dear sweet baby Jesus. One of my friends has credit problems because her file was mixed up with someone with a similar name’s and she’s been trying to get it corrected for well over a year. Because saying, “Clearly this is a completely different person with a completely different first name” doesn’t quite cut it. Oy vey. Bragging about not having student loans is just….wow. I didn’t have any and I don’t think it’s really all that impressive to be like, “Mom and Dad paid my way, yo! Aren’t I SO MUCH BETTER THAN YOU?!” Everything about this is just gross.

  6. Selena Says:

    My father was in banking in a small city. From about age 9, it was drilled into me that asking how much money anyone had, made, or spent was NOT YOUR BUSINESS.

    In early dating, asking someone their credit score, or debt to asset/income ratio strikes me as someone fishing to see how THEY might potentially benefit from your financial history.

    A reason to weed out the person asking.

  7. Parenting Says:

    I am looking for a nice man who enjoys walks on the beach, fine dining, and having complete strangers ask him awkward, inappropriate financial questions on the 4th date.

  8. D. Says:

    So, two things.

    1. The people in the article don’t seem to understand the meaning or importance of credit scores. Maybe they get the concept in the abstract, but I’m guessing that most of them haven’t really come up against how credit scores actually have a practical impact on your life, as in when you apply for financing on a car or a house. Sure, you might have a 700 credit score, but depending on how much money you want to borrow, that still may not be good enough if your income or credit-to-debt levels don’t support what your monthly payment would be. So, mostly, this just seems like entitled and fairly clueless people finding a reason to stay single.

    2. The one exception to the above are the couple who allegedly had been burned by partners with shitty credit. But even then, that would only be relevant to the extent that you’re actually mingling funds or trying to purchase items together for which you’d need to have good joint credit. So, again, just seems like bullshit to sell the dating site. I think you have to have been seriously burned and paranoid about dating to check out a site like that.

    Mostly, this all just seems like more “defensive dating,” which is pretty much a recipe for failure and disappointment.

    • Selena Says:

      I’ve known 2 people who have co-signed loans for a vehicle when they knew their partner had bad credit and couldn’t qualify for the loan. Break up happens. The partner they tried to help defaults on vehicle payments – the finance company comes after them for payment.

      What is the lesson? Don’t co-sign for something you don’t want to be stuck paying for.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    I have a considerably higher credit score than my fiancé, but that’s only because he started several businesses that failed and is still building his credit back up. He pays all bills on time and in full and is better about saving money than I am, but if I had judged him on his score, I would’ve seriously missed out. Sometimes a bad credit score just means that someone took a risk and it didn’t pan out. What matters is how they deal with money in the day to day.

  10. BRM Says:

    While I think asking someone their credit score is silly until you really know them, asking someone about their finances after a couple of months of dating is not. Dating someone who is financially very limited while not a bad thing does bring with it certain realities:

    1. Especially if you’re a man you maybe paying for almost everything – nothing wrong with this. I’m gainfully employed and recently treated a lady to a spa day which wasn’t cheap, but I wanted to do it. I had a good time too :-).

    2. If things get serious and your partner has little ambition or upwardly mobile drive (plus horrible finances) then you’ll be carrying things financially for some time — again not bad but some people don’t realize they’ve chosen this until they fall in love and ask important financial questions.

    3. DEBT. there I said it. Dating or getting serious with someone deep in debt means years or a life time of it hanging that over your head. I had an ex girlfriend who was in bad financial shape when we met, I found out later, but towards the end of our relationship I paid off a huge amount of her debt. Again I wanted to do it because at the time I was feeling love for her. I don’t regret it, there’s someone out there who got a second chance because of me.

    Love only takes a relationship so far, couples fight to the end of over money. So while credit score is not the most important thing at all, a mates financial condition and prospects are something to think about.

    Loving kindness to us all!

  11. AnnieNonymous Says:

    Credit is such a mixed bag. If you don’t have a credit card and are able to pay all your bills through direct banking, your credit score is going to hover around 700. If you save up and close a credit or student loan account early, your credit score may go down. The only people with PERFECT credit scores are people with Black or Platinum cards who spend hundreds of thousands a year on those cards. So when these girls are asking about credit scores, they’re really asking if the guys make enough money to qualify for those high-limit cards.

  12. Bethany Says:

    Financial security is extremely important to me as well and I see nothing wrong with that. I would never come out and ask someone after a few dates what their credit score is, but it’s usually pretty obvious how they manage their money after dating for a few months.

  13. Sarah Says:

    Asking for someone’s credit score is like asking them how recently they’ve been tested for STIs. People can, and do, lie. Adorable.

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