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Finally, A Dating Site for the Money Minded: CreditScoreDating.com

posted by Nathalie Martin

Props to Jodi Helmer for her recent story on creditcards.com about dating and credit scores. I am interested in this development in general and also in how it might jibe with current protocol on who pays for dates. 

For about ten years now, I have taught a weekend class to law and undergrad students on financial self-defense. Sometimes the students practice active listening in pairs about what financial issues trouble them most going forward. While student loan debt always tops the list (more so lately), a fair number of students share fears about the role of debt and credit in finding partners. Helmer’s story tells of the increasing role of creditworthiness in determining partner eligibility. I get it. To me, how one uses credit is one widow into how he or she handles commitment and obligation. A relatively new dating site, CreditScoreDating.com, capitalizes on those who care about credit and helps them find love. A few people who commented in the story thought this was a bad sign but I disagree.  If credit is not important to a person, they can use another site. 

While my clinic students today were not impressed and thought that screening based upon credit scoares was a wee bit superfical, I have always encouraged students to have the money talks sooner, and to unquestionably share credit scores before getting married.  This site helps determine credit compatibility from the beginning. The users will likely be self-selected people for whom credit use is of particular interest.  The site may also draw people who want to talk honestly about debt and credit issues and not shove them under the rug as is often done.

One thing about modern debt and dating that mystifies me is that guys are supposed to pay.  Every year men in my class report that this is the protocol, at least at first.   They also say that dating can put them in the red.  How does this square with equality? It seems wrong for women to care about credit scores if they are not footing the bill?   Back in the day (yes I am an AARP member), women wanted to pay for themselves for the sake of equality and independence, and perhaps for other now antiquated reasons.

Can our younger readers please confirm that this “the guy should pay” rule is indeed in place, and also explain it?  I look forward to learning from you.

Comments

so... someone who lives an all-cash life (and therefore has a terrible credit score) is a bad dating/marriage risk? how exactly?

Nathalie, as a younger reader I can confirm that the "guy pays" rule has made something of a comeback. Sometimes young women just enjoy being pampered. Other times, it's less about actually paying and more about offering to pay, one of those courtship rituals that we humans, like our simian cousins, are so fond of. As a guy, in general I feel that the expectation is I should offer to pay, and then depending on my date's preference, they will either simply let me pay, or offer to split the bill.

I am not a young reader. However, I think this new dating site is on to something. Are not most arguments between spouses tied into money issues? Having the same value system when it comes to financial concerns would seem to help immensely.

This hardly-young reader wholly agrees that people considering joining their lives should share financial information. However, I would want to know about her assets, liabilities and income; I wouldn't give a rodent's backside about her credit score. This opinion informed by 30+ years of consumer bankruptcy practice.

As another mid twenties reader, I can confirm guys generally pay for at least first dates. Thereafter there will sometimes be splitting. Several women in my peer group have told me that they will only split the first date if there will not be a second, but the guy is "nice." Letting the guy pay for the entire first date is usually a signal of it going well (and they will often offer to at least split the second) or very poorly indeed (out of frustration).

Dating? wtf?

Dating is not marriage. Good gf/bf material is often poor spouse material. Why should a 22-year-old care if a hypothetical smart cute neurotic has a lousy credit score? The credit score may have some relationship to money management skills. But who cares? That's not why you want to date this person, unless you're the kind of person for whom every date is an audition for marriage. If you are, I pity you.

I suppose that money management skills are relevant to marriage. But many couples cope nicely with disparate money management skills. We all know of couples who delegate money management to the better manager, with the weaker manager on allowance. Works for them.

I don't like the trend of reducing people to scalar metrics: e.g., FICO scores or IQs. There are few things in life more sad than a Mensa meeting, although credit report dating might be a worthy competitor. I like it even less outside a business context, where one doesn't even have the excuse of instrumental rationality.

Yes, guys should pay. Initially and forever after. This is biblical. It's somewhere in Galatians or Thessalonians or some other such place.

When my now-husband and I were first dating, in the late 1970s, he informed me that, as he made substantially more money than I, we would split the cheap dates but, since he wanted to take me to concerts and the like that were more expensive than I could afford, he would pay for those. It was an equity relationship, rather than strict equality.

Of course, I married the guy.

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