QOTW: Is bad credit a dating deal-breaker? 💔

QOTW: Is bad credit a dating deal-breaker? :broken_heart:
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How many siblings do you have?
Do you have a favorite movie?
What’s your credit score? :thinking:

Getting to know a new love interest can be so much fun :revolving_hearts: but some facets of romantic compatibility are more exciting than others.

Some people view a high credit score as a status symbol :trophy: while those who’ve experienced financial insecurity firsthand may see monetary stability as a pragmatic necessity. In either case, different financial sensibilities can lead to tension in a relationship, so it’s important to be honest about what matters to you.

  • What would you do if you fell in love with someone who had bad credit?

  • Have you ever been rejected by a romantic partner for having bad credit?

Let us know whether you bring up credit scores on the first date, wait until you’re feeling sparks :sparkler: or avoid ever having that conversation (not recommended).


To kick things off, I’m big on planning for my future and a little bit of a control freak. For these reasons, I generally hadn’t pictured myself dating someone with a lower credit score.

When I met my long-term partner, my credit was in considerably better shape than his. We fell for each other so quickly I can’t imagine having broken off the relationship because of this anyway, but by the time we evolved out of our honeymoon phase, I noticed that he was making a concerted effort to pay down his debt and take other concrete steps toward financial stability.

To me, this demonstrated impressive discipline and accountability, as well as dedication to something that was important to me and for the life we wanted to build together. It also made me more empathetic to the complex conditions that can lead to a lower credit score.

Sometimes you just don’t know how you’ll feel about something until it happens to you. Everyone has their own reasoning; I’d just recommend keeping an open mind. I’m glad I did :slightly_smiling_face:



I love this topic, Sara! I had a similar experience with my husband, so I have no idea if bad credit would’ve been a deal-breaker. Glad I didn’t have to find out!

People’s credit can take a hit for so many different reasons. What may matter more than the cause of the bad credit is what the person is doing about it.

One thing I’m super grateful for: I realized that by taking care of my own finances, I wasn’t looking to be rescued by someone else. I could look for someone who shared my values and wanted to build a life together, not necessarily someone who had a bunch of assets and a six-figure income. That was incredibly liberating. And we wound up building the assets and income together!


This is funny and timely because my dad is currently mad at me for dating a guy who has no money and no job. He keeps saying ‘it’s just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor man!’ :smirk:


I don’t think I thought about credit itself much at all when I met my now-husband. I had some debt, but my credit was fine. He had a job and a house, which was a big change from the guys I’d dated before. We have both had excellent credit, but working together to build a budget, develop our couple-based financial priorities, etc has really helped me in being more financially disciplined than I was before. It’s possible I’d have lower credit if I didn’t have someone who was super good with money on my team.

I spent several years doing loan closings for people, and a lot of couples really enjoyed seeing who had the higher credit score, at any range. Building credit can be another small but fun thing to do with your partner.


My advice is don’t look at the credit score. Instead:

  1. Look at the credit report. It’ll better tell you why someone has bad credit, and there might be a very good reason.
  2. Look at the trend line. It’ll tell you what they’re doing. A score of 670 is fantastic if it was 560 a year ago.


Except the rich guys are dating models, so there’s that, @CF88! :laughing: Your dad might not have expressed himself very well, but he sounds like he’s a typical concerned parent. We want our kids to find good people who can be equal partners.

It was important to me that my husband was self-supporting, not living in his mama’s basement, etc. He’s an artist, but not the starving kind.


Echoing @paul’s advice — think about someone’s approach to money in general. Are they secretive, or an open book? Are they a bit too inquisitive about your money? Are they completely avoidant when it comes to financial issues?

You want someone who you can have a grown-up partnership with when it comes to money. Credit health is one signal of how someone relates to money, but there’s a lot more beyond that.

Of course, that might not be a first-date type of discussion :grin: But if you’re heading toward a long-term relationship, getting on the same money page is key to less stress and conflict.


update - we broke up! i got tired of paying his way all the time - omg was my dad right? :crazy_face:


Oh my . . . could be. :wink:


Attaway, @CF88!! You’re a smart cookie and deserve someone who can pay his own pay. Thanks for the update!! (And yeah, pretty sure your dad’s doing the happy dance right about now…)


thanks lweston and bev! :blush: yea, i’m not a model so how do i go about asking someone to see their credit report? just like hey - whats your favorite color and are you financially responsible?


You won’t be surprised to learn that we have articles about that! Here’s one to get you started:

I think you can learn just about everything you need to know by how someone treats a) the wait staff in a restaurant and b) their mother. If they pass those tests, then you can figure out how to have important money conversations. (And you definitely want to see credit reports before you move in with them!)


For me I didn’t know about my credit score or discuss it until about a year ago. More importantly it was discussed when we applied for a mortgage loan. From the start I was strongly opposed to applying for the mortgage loan and tried very hard to suggest waiting a couple months to bring my score. We we’re able to qualify for the mortgage loan but at an expensive interest rate due to my poor credit score. I thank the heavens we didn’t get into mortgage loan agreement.

Through it all, I am happy to say, I’m glad the lender recommend we rent for a year and that I have a good woman that sees I’m trying hard to fix my credit and is willing to stick with me. That’s hard to find this day and age.