There is no denying that credit scores are important in this day and age. Your credit score and reports can affect a multitude of things, including the interest rate on a mortgage, the approval of loans, and even being considered for a job.
However, did you know that your creditworthiness can also affect your romantic relationships? According to a study by the Federal Reserve Board, your credit scores can indicate your success as a partner and the length of your romantic relationships. The study found that people with higher credit scores are more likely to be found in committed relationships. On the other hand, couples with differing scores were found to be more likely to separate within the first five years of their relationship. Variance in a couples’ credit scores highlights different spending and financial habits which can lead to stress and financial hardship on the relationship.
Bad credit scores do not only affect couples, but also those looking for love, too. According to a recent survey by personal finance website Bankrate.com., 42% of adults say that knowing someone’s credit score would influence their decision to date that person. Credit scores can indicate a potential suitor’s financial maturity and security.
Follow these 3 quick credit building tips and you may find yourself on the road to being a Credit Casanova.
3 Quick tips to help you build your credit scores:
Tip #1 Use a credit card (responsibly!)
One of the best ways to build credit is through a credit card. However, it needs to be understood that credit cards are serious financial tools and need to be treated as such. Mature use of a credit card is a fantastic way to increase your credit scores. However, misuse of a credit card will do the complete opposite, racking you up debt and further damaging your financial health (and becoming a dealbreaker for a potential match).
When using a credit card, always remember to:
- Only spend what you can afford. Taking someone in a helicopter for a first date because you saw it on The Bachelor isn’t a wise choice if you can’t afford it!
- Always pay your statement balance in full.
- Like with a date, don’t turn up late. Always pay your bill on time.
- Keep your credit card balances low. Maxing out your credit limits is never a good sign to lenders and can negatively affect your credit scores.
Your current credit scores will be a major determining factor in what credit cards are available to you. For example, individuals with excellent credit can apply for high tier credit cards, such as travel rewards cards equipped with better rewards and benefits. Inversely, people with worse credit, or those building credit from scratch, will have fewer options. If you fall into the latter category, a secured credit card is a fantastic way to start building your credit, which involves paying a cash deposit up front to act as collateral.
Tip #2 Become an authorized user on someone else’s credit card
A family member or friend can add you as an authorized user to his or her credit card (just don’t ask the person you are dating, it may not be the best first impression). While authorized users are not liable for card balances, the credit accounts they are an authorized user for will usually show up on their credit reports, which helps them build a credit history. Prior to setting up an arrangement like this, talk to your family member or friend and set terms for this arrangement. Also, make sure to check if the card provider reports authorized user activity to the credit bureaus, otherwise you will not build credit from this and all that effort will be for nothing.
Tip #3 Consider a credit builder loan
Credit builder loans are designed for people who want to improve or establish a credit history.
It involves borrowing a specific sum, but you don’t initially have access to the funds. When you begin repaying the loan, the credit union or bank will send your payment pattern and the steadily declining balance information to the credit bureaus. If you pay on time and in total, your credit reports will show this and your credit scores will start to increase. You will also receive back everything you paid with potential interest, putting some cash back in your pocket for a possible romantic getaway.
In conclusion, don’t let bad credit or financial mismanagement get in the way of your love life. Start thinking about your credit scores and how you can improve them with these three quick tips.