In sickness and in wealth

Online dating: A keyboard with a love key.

Let's face it, dating is hard. Everyone has their own criteria for who would make a good partner.  

A sense of humor, razor-sharp wit, a great face and for some … an excellent credit score.  

That's right, for some folks you'd better have a spotless credit history if you want a chance at romance. At least, that's what a survey from FreeCreditScore.com suggests. According to the survey, 75 percent of women and 57 percent of men consider a person's credit rating when searching for a potential mate, and a small number even said they ask about credit scores on the very first date.

There are websites that cater to those who are looking for credit perfection. The site CreditScoreDating.com allows members to screen dates based on age, height, location and yes, credit score.  The numbers are self-reported and unverifiable — unless you're willing to ask for a hard copy of credit reports on the first date. 

Although she doesn’t advocate asking about credit history on a first date, relationship and dating expert Andrea Syrtash says we shouldn't be surprised that sites like this exist.

"[Money problems are] one of the top reasons, we know, that couples split up, so of course credit scores are really important to know when going into a long-term partnership," Syrtash says. According to Syrtash, you shouldn't necessarily go into your financial history on a first or second date, but once you are committed the subject of money should no longer be taboo.

"You have to know if you're aligned on all kinds of values, money is certainly one of those values," she says.

Yet, even when money is considered to be important, not everyone feels comfortable raising the issue. "When communications breaks down, relationships break up. And money talk is part of that," Syrtash says.  

Whether you think asking for a W-2, two recent paycheck stubs, and a credit report while meeting for cocktails is prudent or just plain tacky, Syrtash has some simple dating advice: "Date the person, not the potential. You have to look at what the person is offering you now."

About the author

Candace Manriquez is a freelance producer for Marketplace.

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