In case you are wondering, I am not dating! I just thought I should share some information about a dating service that answers the money issue. You won’t have to ask your date about money because you will know their credit score! As a service to my readers, I thought I would dedicate some time to discuss dating services and does it answer the real question. How is your FICO score?
I find it interesting that you can meet someone and marry, but never talk about what is really important. In this case, money is just one of the important things! Some of you may find this uncomfortable for a variety of reasons. I find it funny, that it is easier to talk about politics, religion or sex than talking about money. Is money and how you use it more controversial than anything else?
When do you bring up money when you are dating? I found a dating service that answers the question for you. Creditscoredating.com and Datemycreditscore.com will answer the credit score question! That is the good news although it does not guarantee you will fall in love with a person with a good credit score. A good credit score is certainly better than a bad one. Does a good credit score mean you are more compatible? There should be less financial conflicts! Perhaps!
I think a credit score is just addressing one issue. There are many more involved in a good marriage, although I like the concept of getting that issue out of the way. Do you think that a good credit score will indicate generosity of spirit or spending habits? Of course not! A credit score just means he or she is financially responsible with their bills. I have a friend who is very responsible, but has credit card debt. A high score does not tell us enough about the individual, does it? You may pay your bills on time, but have a negative net worth!
How we spend our money, attitudes about debt and investing is much more important than a credit score. A credit score is similar to asking your height and weight. You could figure out the person’s Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is a measure of weight proportionate to height. In other words, you can evaluate whether the person is overweight or obese. I think I would know it by just looking at the person. A good credit score may be more complicated, but it only says the person is financially responsible.
A credit score is a little bit more telling than a BMI score, but not much. A BMI score will not tell me if the person is healthy. A credit score does not tell me about their personal finance values, goals or net worth. A credit score just shows that you made your payments on time, and you did not max out your credit. Is that enough to determine financial compatibility? I don’t think so! What do you really want to know? I hope your list is long, but don’t try to ask all those questions in one night.
No list will ever be complete enough so you have to be comfortable with your mate’s values vs. specific questions. If you wanted to have children and your mate did not, I would say that is a deal breaker. If your attitude about debt is radically different, I would say you are not compatible. If your goal is to go into your own business and your mate sees that as too risky, you would miss out on your dream. Compromise is important, but not on significant issues. More people divorce because of money problems so don’t take this lightly. Not discussing it is not an option!
As I indicated, there is a lot of things a credit score will not tell you about a person. The credit score makes no judgment about your financial choices! If your outstanding debt is under 30% of your credit limit, you will have a good credit score, but all of your debt is credit card debt at 18+% interest. You could have the same score and your outstanding debt is a mortgage. You have 50% equity in your home and your mate has just debt. Is this a match? On the surface, I would want more answers.
Dating, marriage and relationships are much more complicated. I don’t think anything can replace a conversation, perhaps a very long one. Remember, financial compatibility is just one of the important issues. I prefer understanding someone’s values because I could never ask enough questions. Values are broader statements that usually do not change and tells me more about the person than 100 question interrogation. If you don’t know, it would be a broad question such as how do you feel about having children or debt or what are your long range goals?
If you think a dating service questionnaire will solve your compatibility issues, I have bridge for you! Nothing replaces getting to know the other person for a period of time. Getting comfortable with his/her values and the person before a serious relationship can lead to something like marriage. I remember a good friend in college who had a checklist for dating. If the girl did not meet his criteria, he did not go out. The result was he had no dates in college. I think it is a bit extreme and impractical. You should meet a lot of people to find what works and what doesn’t. Perhaps online dating will help in this respect?
Photo by: Bart Claeys