Credit scores have become so popular and important in today’s world that there is even a rise in a new phenomenon called credit dating. Some dating websites now allow members to view credit scores of potential dates. With so much stress on the importance of good credit and solid financial planning, love can sometimes be overshadowed by money matters. If you are dating a person with bad credit, it’s essential that you understand how to handle your relationship and what this could mean for your future.
Be Up Front About Money
As couples first start to get to know each other, they discuss many issues. Often, money is something that doesn’t come into the picture until after things have already gotten serious. One way to avoid having to decide whether to choose love or money is to find out right away if you are dating someone with bad credit. However, just because someone has bad credit doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to run.
Since money is important to you, express this early in the dating relationship. Credit scores and dating are becoming more intertwined as widespread financial crisis continues. People are so concerned about their own financial future that credit management becomes part of every decision they make. If you continue to date for a long time or get married, chances are you will buy something together. Credit may play a big role in this. Talk to your partner about how important financial security is and why you are so set on saving money and making wise credit decisions. Find out how your partner feels about credit and try to understand why he or she feels this way. Don’t just dismiss someone’s credit problem as a character flaw.
How Bad Credit Might Affect a Relationship
Some people dismiss the idea that bad credit can play a negative role in a relationship. These people stress that love is always the most important factor; they say people are more apt to change their ways with money than they are to change their hearts. However, a credit score can have a big effect on dating that will cause stress and strain and leave the couple parting ways on bad terms.
If you are dating someone with bad credit, you may find that he or she asks you for loans. This can cause serious strain on a relationship, especially if the partner doesn’t ever seem to pay you back. Similarly, a partner with bad credit may always insist that you pay for everything, or he or she might think that you feel you are the better person in the relationship because of your financial success. On the other hand, someone with bad credit may always insist on doing the cheapest things possible, creating a dating environment that you aren’t comfortable with. There are many ways that a bad credit score can affect dating, and these factors can often lead to a sour relationship where one person always feels bad. A partner with sound financial history may even feel an obligation to stick with the other person out of guilt.
Bad credit could also be a sign that a person has other issues. You may notice that your partner is irresponsible in many ways. If he or she forgets to pay bills on time, it’s important to ask yourself how this might translate to your relationship. Will he or she forget about important dates? Bad credit can sometimes be a reflection of a person’s overall attitude, and this should be a warning sign that a financial turnaround isn’t likely.
Helping Your Partner With Credit
Rather than ending a relationship because of bad credit, you may be able to use your position in that relationship to help the other person turn around his or her life. This can ultimately save your relationship and lead to financial success together. It’s important when talking about money never to suggest that you are the better person. Rather, explain the importance of saving money and staying out of debt by stressing how it has helped you. Talk to your partner about how the debt or bad credit happened. Oftentimes it isn’t entirely that person’s fault. There may have been difficult family circumstances that led to the current financial crisis.
Instead of offering loans to help out your partner, assist him or her with creating a budget that will allow for debt relief. Work out the budget together and go over it each week. Explain that you are doing it because you want to make sure that you are compatible in the future. If he or she can’t resolve the money problems, then explain that a long term commitment with you is not possible. Give your partner access to the financial resources you use, and recommend he or she speak with your own financial advisors. Make sure always to approach these conversations from a concerned and loving point of view. Never use the person’s bad credit as a weapon in the relationship.
Monitor Your Credit Together
Don’t flaunt your good credit, but show your partner the importance of credit reports. Explain how credit reports can be scary, and offer to sit down with him or her and a financial expert. This can make the other person more comfortable because it shows you also seek help in these matters. If you monitor your credit scores together, you can celebrate any positive change in your partner’s score (just make sure that your celebrations are always financially responsible).
Credit is an essential factor in financial security and overall happiness today. While a bad credit score doesn’t necessarily have to be a deal breaker, it can have a big effect on a dating relationship. It’s important to discuss and resolve any credit differences early in the relationship. If you think that the other person just can’t turn it around, then it may be time to break it off. After all, someday his or her credit will likely have an impact on your own.
About Author: Joy Mali is an active finance blogger who is fond of sharing interesting finance management tips to encourage people to manage their personal finances. More specifically, she advocates that people should check credit reports and scores regularly.