Credit Scores and Relationships
A study performed by the Federal Reserve Board at the end of 2015 (yes, that Federal Reserve that controls the money in the US) was centered around the way credit scores affect our love lives. They particularly focused on a credit scores and their effect on committed relationships and although it seems a bit far-fetched that something like a credit score can affect any relationship, they produced some interesting results.
It has long been known that the five biggest causes of divorce are basic incompatibility (a massive 43% of divorces cite this as the main reason), infidelity (28%), ‘money issues’ (22%), abuse (5%) and parenting issues/addictions came in last at 0.5% each. Infidelity and money issues are the two reasons that have consistently appeared to cause a rift in a relationship to the point of breakdown for last eight decades.
It’s not money per se that causes divorce, it’s more that a lack of money or poor handling of finances that lead to a rift in a relationship that often leads to breakdown.
The Federal Reserve Board had not discovered something new with the study, they just discovered the patterns that can create problems for committed partners which may be useful if you want to create a bond that can survive in the long term. It seens credit scores and relationships have more in common than you may think.
It all sounds a bit dry, but it shouldn’t be! If love isn’t a reason to get your credit score up – we don’t know what is!
One of the reasons this study rings true is that a credit score is often a reflection of how a person lives their whole life. Many times how we do one thing – is how we do everything else. If someone forgets to pay bills regularly or borrows more money than they can afford to pay back, these habits are also a reflection of how they organize their time, emotions, treat people and other aspects of their life. The study shows that people who are reliable with their money, paying bills on time, managing debt well, etc, had higher credit scores and were more reliable and dedicated to their relationships which, in turn, makes them last.
This infographic from Money Sense (Rogers Communications) sums up the study:
It shows us that maybe if you’re tired of being single then it’s a good idea to push your credit rating up! Or if you haven’t had a committed relationship so far you may want to put into practice raising your credit score and learn a few skills that will help you find the right kind of love. Higher credit scores seem to attract a more committed partner.
Other really interesting facts from the study noted that:
- Credit scores and relationships tend to form between people of similar behaviors.
- People who raise their score by 109 points increase the likelihood of finding a partner in the next year by 14%
- An increase of 105 points when in a relationship means that the relationship is 34% less likely to separate
- If your partner credit score is wildly different from yours that it doesn’t bode well for the longevity of the relationship.
- Low credit scores are a sneak peek into any negative behaviors a potential partner may have.
- Working on low credit ratings together often results in a more committed relationship
- The lowest credit scores are 30% less likely to form a committed relationship
All of this makes sense.
Credit scores and relationships seem to be based on common goals and habits which means you may root for different teams, but you both have a job and believe in sale shopping. If you root for the same team but one likes to shop and the other save, no amount of match day victories is going to compensate for the arguments over finance.
“We find that the couples’ average level and the match quality in credit scores, measured at the time of relationship formation, are highly predictive of subsequent separations,” the authors noted, which means that if your partner credit score is wildly different from yours when you form a relationship it is very unlikely that it will result in a long, happy relationship.
But all is not lost.
If you do meet the love of your life and their credit score is a completely different scale from yours or you both have one that is less than desirable, there is a solution.
All relationships at some time have to sit down and talk about money. Set apart a night, disconnect from any other media, crack open a bottle of wine and work out what will work for your credit scores and relationships. It’s never a comfortable conversation, but the outcome really has to be that you work on your credit score together and raise them to a level where it becomes a common goal. Do not lower one credit rating to meet the other or it will defeat the object of the goal as the arguments about money will not be avoided. It’s just a case of finding out what financial goals will work for your relationship.
With so much going on in our lives it makes sense to eliminate the problems in a relationship we can control, and, if achieving a higher credit score is one of them, it has an extra special by-product – it’ll help you to increase the chances of a long and happy relationship.