This Study Says Your Debt Situation Could Determine If Someone Swipes Right

Money problems
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Is it time to freshen up your online dating profile?

Forget about listing your height. And please, no pictures of you with your mom, unless mom is really that cool.

Maybe…list your credit score? Confirm for the general public you have a job?

Because, surprise surprise: People are more likely to want to date you if you have a solid financial profile.

Don’t worry. No pressure.

LendingTree Confirms How Judgy We Are

Oh, to be a fly on the wall during this survey.

LendingTree showed more than 2,000 people fictional profiles for 10 men or 10 women, based on their romantic preferences.

Half the group got to see financial information about the profiles, including school debt, credit card debt, car loans and business loans.

The other half got to base their ratings on looks alone, much like me swiping through Tinder with frantic speed and near-crushing disappointment.

Some crucial stats from the results that I could have told you at the bar after two martinis:

Sixty-five percent of women said it was “extremely important” for their partner to have a job, while only 32% of men thought it was that important. (Which is 100% true, because every time you try to set me up with someone, my first question is, “Does he have a job?”)

Men’s attractiveness ratings only went up after viewing their financial profiles if their debt equaled no more than half their income. In fact, those reviewing men’s profiles rated a man with “good financial standing” almost two times higher than a guy with a not-so-great financial outlook.

Take for example “Man 8,” who I’m going to call Steven because it sounds like a solid name for a guy we’re about to be real tough on.

Based on looks alone, Fictional Steven got an attractiveness rating of 6, which we’ll be generous and say is above average. Good work, Steven.

But while Steven makes a respectable $35,000 per year, he also has $15,000 in credit card debt, a $10,000 car loan and $10,000 in student loan debt. Suddenly Steven’s money problems are a red flag, and he’s not as much of a cutie patootie. His rating dropped 35% to a 4.2.

Meanwhile, the most notable attractiveness difference for women once respondents learned their financial status was only 10%. Those viewing women’s profiles still thought they were pretty, even after seeing their financial profile.

Maybe the Best Place to Meet Someone is Personal Finance Class

If you’re suddenly worried about how your net worth will affect your chances of finding true love, relax.

There’s some good news from this study besides the relief that everyone still thinks ladies are pretty. (Phew.)

Student debt has less of a stigma than auto loans or credit card debt. So while your student loan burden may tie your stomach in knots, there’s a good chance your potential suitor totally understands — and maybe even has their own student loan debt.

Most people surveyed would date someone with bad credit, but when it comes to tying the knot with someone with bad debt, respondents weren’t as willing to volunteer.

That means you can probably squeak through the first few dates without presenting a credit report and two reference letters.

But you can’t hide from discussing finances forever.

Relationships are supposed to be built on honesty and trust, right? No matter how cute Steven is.

How to Fix Your Money Problems Before Your Date Embarrasses You

Excited to find your soulmate — or someone close enough — but worried about eventually revealing the truth about your financial situation?

Here’s what to do before you swipe right:

If you have no idea what your credit score looks like, Credit Sesame can help you get that reality check for free — and then show you some steps to raise your score, pronto. After all, Credit Sesame knows a bad credit score is seriously unattractive.  

Got a pile of credit card debt with a cringe-worthy interest rate? Fiona can help you compare personal loan options so you can pay down your debt faster.

Even though prospective mates are more understanding of student loan debt, it still may be a good move to refinance yours. You can get lots of offers in a matter of seconds from Credible.

And once you think your finances are in good shape, sign up for a free monitoring service like TrueIdentity to make sure your information stays safe. After all, you don’t need someone else running your debt up again — you were good enough at doing that yourself.

Your Turn: Does a person’s financial situation make them more attractive to you?

Disclosure: Here’s a toast to the affiliate links in this post. May we all be just a little richer today.

Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder. Her dating profile does not include her height, but it does mention her job and her love of the great indoors.