This Study Says 72% of People Won’t Marry Someone With a Bad Credit Score

Bad credit score
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How important is it that your significant other has a good credit score or is savvy with money?

It’s no secret that roughly half of U.S. marriages end in divorce, and money is commonly cited as the cause for the split.

With this in mind, Credit Sesame polled 2,000 consumers with the goal of finding out whether a bad credit score could be a deal-breaker when it comes to a serious relationship. We posed a single question:

Would you marry or live with a significant other whose credit score is extremely low — and has no interest in improving it? It might even be worth checking yours…  

Love and Credit Scores

The question conveyed an extreme situation: a partner who not only has a low credit score, but also has no intention of working towards improving it.

Could love conquer bad debt management habits, tough financial situations, unwillingness to improve one’s financial future, or all of the above?

  • For more than a quarter of survey respondents, 26% actually said yes!
  • While the vast majority of people – 72% – seem to draw a line at an extremely low score (and no interest in improving it), it’s still quite a shock to see that 1 in 5 people are actually OK with that.

Let’s see how results break down based on people’s gender, age, income and where they live.

Are Men More Forgiving Than Women?

When it comes to how men view the situation compared with women, it seems men are somewhat more accepting of a low credit score than women:

  • 29% of male respondents answered yes and 69% said no
  • 24% of women said yes, while 73% said no

One possible reason men may be more forgiving than women is because they make more money. A higher income may correlated with viewing oneself as the potential breadwinner in the family.

Perhaps men think their partner’s credit score wouldn’t really impact the couple’s finances. This might be the case if all financial accounts are kept completely separate.

However, if they ever plan on applying for a mortgage, car loan, or any other secured or unsecured debt together, both applicants’ credit scores will impact the loan’s interest rate, and whether they’re approved for the loan.

Wealth — or the Lack thereof — Makes a Difference

When we look at the survey respondents by income, it appears those who either earn a lot (over $150,000) or very little ($24,000 or less) seem most willing to compromise bad credit for love.

More than a third of those earning more than $150,000 are willing to marry or live with a partner with bad credit, as well as 31% of those who earn $24,999 or less each year.

Wiser With Age?

Either older generations know something or they’re simply wiser when it comes to money.

Older people are more likely to say no to marriage or cohabitation with a credit “loser” than young people.

Here are the results:

  • 62% of respondents 25 to 34 years old
  • 78% of respondents 55 years or older
  • 34% of those aged 25 to 34 said yes to being with a mate with a low score, along with…
  • 20% for those aged 55+

‘Sad reason for basing a marriage decision’

Whether bad credit could be a marriage deal-breaker is a question that seemed to elicit firm yes or no reactions.

Only 2% of respondents selected “Other” for their answer — and we required a text-based explanation if they selected it.

The most common reason why was “Maybe” — indeed, it can be a complicated issue.

However, one answer stood out: “Sad reason for basing a marriage decision.”

Is that really so? Considering study after study finds money to be the leading cause of stress in a relationship, it might be worth taking finances more seriously before heading to the altar.

Do you know your credit score? Here’s how to check it for free — along with some tips for improving it…

Your Turn: Would you marry or live with someone who has a bad credit score?

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