That’s a Dealbreaker: Millennials Dating by Credit Scores

There are many common questions people like to ask in the early stages of a new romantic relationship. They might want to know more about their prospective partner’s hobbies, pets, family, or life goals. But many Millennials are asking a new and much more direct question: “What’s your credit score?”

Last week, the New York Post ran a profile on women whose list of dealbreakers includes a credit report below 650. Among them is 22-year-old Martina Paillant, who said she routinely pops the credit question by the fourth date.

“I was raised in a family of professionals who keep their finances in check and taught me how to handle my money,” Paillant said. “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.”

Unfortunately, Paillant may have a hard time finding people her age in the same situation.

“Millennials are the most indebted generation in American history,” said personal finance expert Lynnette Khalfani-Cox. But that doesn’t mean the question is unreasonable.

“Marriage and relationships are not just an emotional, personal bond, they’re also to a large extent a financial commitment,” Khalfani-Cox explained. “It’s completely appropriate when dating to have a good understanding of your partner’s credit health.”

Credit reports are also influential factors in long-term relationship goals, such as buying a home. Most mortgage lenders, for example, require a minimum score of 680, while Federal Housing Administration loans require a minimum of 620.

Couples with higher credit reports tend to last longer, too. According to a study from the Federal Reserve Board last year, couples with credit scores below 600 are more than three times as likely to divorce than average score couples.

There is, of course, a dating site for that. Website matches potential partners by their credit history, which perhaps is the secret to a happy marriage, after all.

“A person with a high credit score shows they’re trustworthy, responsible, and reliable with their finances,” Khalfani-Cox said — which could make a good credit score the modern equivalent of being tall, dark, and handsome.

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