How Your Credit Score Affects Your Relationships
Here’s a little something to get you in the Valentine’s Day spirit: According to a recent study by The Federal Reserve, your credit score could spell either happily every after or doom and gloom for your relationship. After all, money issues are one of the leading reasons behind divorce.
Per The Federal Reserve study, which analyzed close to 50,000 couples over a 15-year period, those who started relationships with a gap of 66 points or more between their FICO scores are found to be about 25 percent more likely to call it quits in two to four years compared with those who share similar credit scores when they begin dating. In fact, the study indicated that people tend to prefer dating people that they have similar credit scores with, though we don’t imagine that asking a man or woman for their FICO score upon meeting is the most appealing pickup line. (We should note that if that is a dating requirement, be sure to check out www.CreditScoreDating.com, a website that matches couples based on credit score.)
The good news is that if you do date someone with a different credit score than yours, sticking things out with them has proven to be beneficial. In fact, The Federal Reserve study found that those who are together for more than four years tend to work toward more similar credit scores over time.
Planning a Valentine’s Day With Poor Credit
So say your credit stinks, but you really don’t want to screw things up with the person you’ve been dating for a few weeks. The good news is that you can see notable improvements in your credit score within six months should you enact some credit repair tactics, such as paying down balances so that your credit utilization ratio is at or less than 30 percent, making on-time payments and disputing any errors you find on your report.
In the meantime, it’s still perfectly feasible to have a fun, romantic Valentine’s Day. Here’s a look at some ways to do it without having it take a negative toll on your credit repair strategy:
- Have a romantic night in: You don’t have to go out to a fancy restaurant to have a fun, memorable Valentine’s Day. Instead, cook or order in for a candlelight dinner at your house. Later, you can rent a movie to watch while you cuddle up together on the sofa.
- Use that gift card you’ve been waiting to spend: Remember that gift card you received to the nicest restaurant in town for Christmas? If you can’t bear staying in on the most romantic night of the year, Valentine’s Day could be a perfect time to use it. This way, you can have that fun meal out without spending a lot of – or any of – your own money.
- Set some ground rules: If you’ve been dating for a while, explain your situation to your significant other and set some ground rules. Perhaps you two decide to forego gifts and just go to dinner. Whatever you decide, doing Valentine’s Day on a budget is a good habit to get into, especially when you’re trying to get out of debt and repair your credit score. Your significant other will likely admire your newfound financial responsibility.
Though The Federal Reserve study doesn’t overwhelmingly spell breakup or divorce if your credit scores significantly vary, it should serve as another motivator to whip your credit score into shape. Not only can a high credit score save you lots of money via low interest rates, but it can also potentially help your relationship.