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Should I ask about her credit score on the first date?

When the chemistry's right, it's worth knowing about the credit history of a prospective partner

It's a beautiful night. You've managed to get the best table at your favorite restaurant. It's the perfect setting for a first date. And things are going really well. There's definitely some chemistry at work. Maybe it's time to pop the question...

"So, what's your credit score?"

Oops. That's a question that could certainly qualify as a mood-killer. Or maybe not. According to articles in major national publications, the single adult population in the U.S. has started to embrace the credit score as a necessary topic in any dating discussion. Going further, one financial advisor suggested that for many daters, the credit score issue falls into the same category as a test for sexually transmitted diseases. The point is well taken: Your credit score provides a view into your financial past just as an STD test reveals your sexual past.

3 reasons to mix credit scores with romance

  1. Money remains a top stressor in relationships. This is nothing new. For years, couples therapists have rated money problems as the top stressor in a relationship, above issues related to job loss, children and sex. Whether you're in a relationship or seeking a partner, it's wise to pay attention to financial issues rather than avoiding them.
  2. A credit score is the best snapshot of your financial health. There are a number of variables that a financial advisor would factor into an assessment of your financial well-being. But credit scores provide an instant "take" on your financial health. For landlords, banks, utility companies, cell phone service providers and others, the credit score is accepted standard for assessing a customer's financial responsibility. Why should it be any different for two people who are starting a serious relationship? If your prospective partner has a shoe addiction or debts from playing online poker, wouldn't it be good to know about these issues sooner rather than later?
  3. Credit information is readily available. The final reason to fold credit information into courting rituals is that it's readily accessible. Consumer protection legislation stipulates that you're entitled to see a free credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax). And thanks to credit score monitoring services like FreeScoresAndMore , it's possible to access credit scores easily. Many people are taking advantage of such services -not just to monitor credit scores but also as a way to detect and thwart identity theft.

Yes, you can find your mate with a credit score dating service.
Want to eliminate the stress of popping the credit score question on the first date? No problem. Just sign on to one of the online dating services that puts credit scores into the dating equation. A credit score dating service shouldn't come as a surprise, considering that there are dating websites that focus on age, geographic location, sexual orientation, religion and academics -just for starters.

True love for the financially challenged: piggybacking to improve a credit score

When two people with vastly different credit scores get married, there's always the risk that the high credit score will be dragged down by the low one. Smart couples find ways to avoid this credit score tumble by blending their finances carefully. One tactic frequently used is to "piggyback" the partner with bad credit as an "authorized user" on the credit card issued to the partner with better credit scores. This can also be done on a checking account or mobile phone contract. Of course, it's still important to clear up bad debts and practice the prompt bill-paying habits that build a good credit history and contribute to high credit scores.