We have asked a lot of women over the years, whether or not they would date a man with bad credit. And a good portion has said they would on a first date because it wasn’t a big deal until things became serious in the relationship.
But isn’t that already too late?
According to a survey by Bankrate, a little over a quarter of men might banish a first date for harboring a low credit score, while half of the women said they might reconsider. The problem here is only six percent of the respondents said it was appropriate to ask within the early stages of dating. So no matter where you stand on this argument, you’re still taking a chance with any new partner.
Let’s talk about the pros and cons:
Low Credit Pros
The Good Man
It is getting hard to find a good man. So hard, that some women are open to a few flaws before making any final judgments. “He could be a really good man,” explains Lisa, a single mother of two. “And just be in the middle of a bad set of circumstances.”
And this is true. Medical tragedies can pop up as well as other financial burdens, like divorce, that reflect very little on a person’s responsibility for handling their finances. If you take a chance on a person under these circumstances, you may still end up with a real keeper.
The Honest Man
We think that most men deserve a chance, and if you come across one that raises the issue on their own, letting you know about their less than stellar credit situation – that could be a good sign. We learn from mistakes, and some of those mistakes are a lot more costly than others. Mistakes, like losing control of your credit cards or not wanting to wait to enjoy the fruits of adulthood (cars, homes, 90-inch flat screens, etc,)
If a man is honest about his situation, and is already en route to tackling his credit issues, why shouldn’t you give him a chance? After all, you won’t be under any personal risk until you join bank accounts, rent/buy a place together, make your first joint purchase or fall into (hopeful) matrimonial bliss.
Bad Credit Cons
Bad Credit is a Relationship Indicator
We do believe that any man is innocent until proven guilty. But the evidence is out there that being irresponsible with your finances can also point to being irresponsible with your relationships. Forgetting to make payments can lead to forgetting that he is supposed to be faithful. Having no worries about saving his money, could mean that he is looking for a sugar mamma to fund his growing stockpile of junk.
Can’t Wash a Rotten Apple
Some women live by the motto that they can transform any man with potential. But I’m here to remind you that a lot of women with that motto change it quickly after their first three failures. “Some men are just bad apples when it comes to their finances,” describes Debra, a financial therapist. “And no amount of teaching is going to change that.”
And you might think that your good habits might rub off or that your good credit can counter his bad, but it won’t. When a partner with a good credit score joins another with a bad credit score – it will diminish the buying power the good score once had. Many couples in this situation settle for the partner with a good score to handle all the borrowing, but that will lead to an unbalanced partnership.
Number One Stressor
What is the number one cause of stress, divorce, sexless marriage, and broken dreams? It is money. The lack of it, the inability to display self-control, and the dishonesty that follows a partner with a spending addiction. So if your partner matches you in every other way but your credit score, take that as a big red flag that needs to be discussed.
What if Your Partner’s Score is Low
After that fifth or twelfth date (you really need to break the ice before entering into this discussion), and you discover your partner’s score may not be on par with your own, set aside a time to have a discussion in a non-confrontational setting. For men, this equals a joint project, such as taking a walk, planting some vegetables, or cooking together.
Ask about their financial situation, their plans to get out of debt, and how they would like to see themselves in the future. You’re not pointing any fingers, but just making sure that you are both on the same path. A lot of good information will come from these three questions alone, and you will then have to ask yourself if they are more likely to be a pro or a con (no pun intended).