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A few months ago I bookmarked an article in the The New York Times, “Even Cupid Wants to Know Your Credit Score,” about the newest trend in online dating: matches based on credit scores. 

I set about investigating the details—mostly because I couldn’t believe this was not an article in The Onion—and found out that it’s not a satire. In fact, it’s a very serious matter.

The most interesting thing to me is the appeal factor of this trend. At first, I thought this was made for people who had run into financial crisis as a result of a prior relationship.

Not so, says this latest trend. Credit score dating makes it very clear—even in the face of compatibility, attraction, shared values and lifestyle—that financial stability is the primary determinant in a successful relationship.

It turns out that there are a plethora of websites catering to financially-minded singles. One site is actually called “Credit Score Dating.” I tried not to judge, but when I saw the catch phrases: “Credit scores are sexy!” and “A perfect 850 is a perfect 10!” I paused. Really? REALLY? 

This method contends that if people are willing to share their credit score with potential dates, it shows they would display trustworthiness, integrity and honesty to bank lenders. It stands to reason, then, that this is a person who would extend those same qualities in a serious relationship. Anyone who proves their financial smarts is deemed solid spouse material.

According to one site, putting this information front and center at the beginning of a search eliminates unwanted problems later on.

Maybe these website have a point? No one wants to be led into thinking the person they’re dating is not as stable as they might appear. And it does make sense that someone who is financially irresponsible is likely to be irresponsible in other areas of life.

But in making finances the first criteria in dating, it shows how wealth-obsessed we’ve become. And that does not sit right with me, especially as a Catholic.

That isn’t to say that poverty is the only way to live the word of our Savior. It also does not mean that attaining financial status is wrong. But putting so much emphasis on money as a way to define love and commitment is evidence that our priorities are misplaced.

I know that many marriage-minded singles are concerned about finances, and it is a valid concern. Over the years, I have seen this issue raised many times in the CatholicMatch forums. But I think many would agree that focusing on a credit score takes all the attention away from a Christ-centered partnership. 

If a credit score is the highest measure of compatibility, it’s obvious that finances trump love and if any of these credit-score daters are marriage-minded, could a pre-nup be far away?

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23 Comments

  1. Veronica-945261 February 26, 2013

    I don’t think this is necessarily a bad idea. Money problems and conflicts in spending habits are a major cause of divorce. Good to know what you are getting into when you get involved with someone. Especially for those of us of a certain age, who are established in our careers and have a little money. I don’t want a guy with a lot of debt or a tendency to spend beyond his means.

    • Ezrah-891754 February 26, 2013

      I agree :)! I’m understanding if the woman wants a financially secured guy over someone who has a student loan to pay and just renting a place. It makes logical sense to be concerned about finances. Being financially secure is as important as being faithful to me. We can’t all be saints but we can all be good Christians.

    • Michael-504832 February 26, 2013

      I like the way you think Veronica.. It is not always good to let people know what you have. Even if you don’t have anything…in regards to money. One should get to know the person for a period of time. Find out what kind of patterns a particular person has for a few months and a couple of years before one gets invested into a relationship.

  2. Nilda-834707 February 26, 2013

    I can understand the conflict, but I think it is not a bad idea. Some of us work really hard at paying our bills on time even to the point of going through life without the extras. Why would we want to eventually end up with someone who is financially irresponsible (running up the credit cards on non-essentials)? I know of a few cases and it really is sad.

  3. Michael-504832 February 26, 2013

    It is a sin to overspend!!

  4. Naomi-698107 February 26, 2013

    Well, what an ideal world to live in! I have a student loan, and I”m currently renting, does that mean I’m finanically insecure? Maybe. But chances are I’d be in some dead end, go no where job earning bearly passed min. wage if I hadn’t gotten a student loan to pay for an education. Not everyone has rich parents who can pay their university bills.

    As it stands, I think its looking at finances the wrong way, yes its important to be responsible with money, ie. not buying a new Beamer when you can’t afford the rent, or splurging on a vacation to Europe when your kids are going hungry. But to say someone’s poor credit rating would mean they’re dishonest and disloyal? My credit rating is crap. Thank years of student living in a system that doesn’t help people who are white and middle class.

    I’d rather be poor and single and right with God, then worshipping dollar signs as my master.

    • Ezrah-891754 February 26, 2013

      ” Thank years of student living in a system that doesn’t help people who are white and middle class.” -I’m confused by this statement just a bit… I’m a student too but I rather be with a gal who is financially smart with her money. However, whom I to speak about money when I’ve got debt to pay? Anyways, you might be right…

    • Gima-903611 February 27, 2013

      I agree, Naomi. I too would be in a dead end job if I hadn’t made a significant investment in my education. I have good credit but it will be a long time before I pay off my student loans. I don’t think getting an education and living up to your fullest potential is irresponsible. There is difference between being debt because you bought things you can’t afford and investing in your future.

    • Naomi-825244 February 27, 2013

      Hey! I love your name! there aren’t many of us out there!
      Funny, I’m renting, and I have several student loans and a car loan to boot!!! I have a steady job which controls my life for which I got the education and the dependable car. =D I am pretty smart with money, having paid off all my consumer debt and budgeting strictly every month, spending very little on going out to dinner or other superfluous things. Perhaps this why I’ve been single so long. ;-)

  5. Maria-943288 February 26, 2013

    I am a nurse, I have a daughter and I am head of household.
    To make ends meet, sometimes I run out of money and I do juggling to reach the charging time.
    This does not make me feel bad.
    on the contrary
    I think I more like the life of the Holy Family.

    Mary

  6. William-913283 February 27, 2013

    Credit scores are not primarily based on how much debt you have–they are based on whether you meet your obligations. Nothing wrong with having student loan debt if you can afford to pay it back and have a job that still pays more even while making the payments than the job you would have had, had you not gone to school, pays.

  7. John-929391 February 27, 2013

    In todays economy, with unemployment very high, and many good, professional, and loving people experiencing temporary debt / income issues, it amazes me at the lack of understanding of dating sites promoting debt scoring. Huge numbers of the wealthiest individuals and companies have recently filed bankruptcy, yet they are not considered reckless, just unfortunate.
    The fact is, a dating couple have to examine each others ways of handling money with a careful, yet sensitive approach. This would also apply to examining their values, trust issues, integrity, and about a dozen other characteristics… But asking for a credit report?, not my kind of dating material!

  8. BethAnne-168224 February 27, 2013

    I think this is kind of ridiculous. I think it’s not a nice way to automatically decline a date. I like many others went to college to get a good job and have student loans. But I graduated in the midst of the bad economy and have yet to find a living wage paying job. So I have bills, credit cards, and student loans that went unpaid for many months. It’s not because I’m irresponsible with money and don’t care/don’t want to pay them back but I just didn’t have a job that would allow me to actually pay them back.

    The amount of want ads out there who want employees with college degrees and only want to pay them $10/hour is RIDICULOUS. So I think judging people on their credit score before even meeting them is a little judgmental.

  9. Naomi-825244 February 27, 2013

    It is good to get the most important issues up and front at first, but that is why I’m on CatholicMatch and not the financial site. Sure, finances are important, and man with a good job is a definite catch, but someone who agrees with me on faith and morals will easily win me over someone who agrees with me only on the tangibles of life.

  10. Candace-587406 February 27, 2013

    I disagree with the author when she said, “someone who is financially irresponsible is likely to be irresponsible in other areas of life”. Granted this is true in some cases, there have been families, to no fault of their own, who were laid-off and ended up losing their homes to foreclosure. In situations like these, I don’t believe it was their fault. They were faced with unfortunate circumstances, which consequently impacted their credit in a big, negative way. Additionally, I don’t think it’s appropriate to ask about someone’s credit as you are first getting to know them. If the relationship progresses to engagement or there are discussions about engagement, that would be a more suitable time for both people to have an open dialogue about their credit past and there future financial goals.

  11. Mark-931441 February 28, 2013

    I hope I just win the lottery sooner rather than later so I don’t have to worry about finances.

  12. Mary-853373 March 3, 2013

    I have always somehow paid all bills on time and never bounced a check. This is just how I want to handle things and I can sleep at night knowing I have done the best I can do. Middle class is tough and everything costs more each day and my income is frozen so I must be on a prayer list somewhere.

  13. Ryan-611803 March 14, 2013

    “That isn’t to say that poverty is the only way to live the word of our Savior. It also does not mean that attaining financial status is wrong. But putting so much emphasis on money as a way to define love and commitment is evidence that our priorities are misplaced.”

    I knew this would go here. I have the highest credit score really possible to a non-homeowner with a decent but not extravagant salary – and my score hasn’t gone up from the time I had a much more modest salary.

    Credit score measures, among other things – good and bad – financial responsibility. It does not measure a commitment to evangelical poverty. A bad credit score is not usually someone who is living simply, but someone who is failing to live within his means.

    That is not the mark of evangelical poverty.

    I would not rule somebody out because of a poor credit rating. In fact, it strikes me as a weird thing to advertise, akin to “number of past sexual partners.” Rather intimate for before, well, before we’ve established a certain degree of intimacy.

    But while I will share my heart and home with another repentant sinner, I cannot bind myself to a profligate spendthrift any more than to a promiscuous fornicator. And credit score, while hardly the final word on any of it, can give a glimpse into it.

  14. Diane S. March 15, 2013

    “There comes a point when a man must refuse to answer to his leader if he is also to answer to his own conscience.”
    ~ Hartley Shawcross (1902-2003), prosecutor at Nuremberg War Crimes tribunal

    “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.
    ~ Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826) 3rd president of US, page”

    “Everything is backwards; everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the major media destroy information, and religions destroy spirituality.”
    ~ Michael Ellner

    (and now good Christian dating sites buy into $=Love)

    Mohandas Karamachand Gandhi, one of the most influential figures in modern social and political activism, considered these traits to be the most spiritually perilous to humanity. “Seven Social Sins * Politics without Principle * Wealth Without Work * Pleasure Without Conscience * Knowledge without Character * Commerce without Morality * Science without Humanity * Worship without Sacrifice” This is the 8th sin by Arun Gandhi. * “Rights Without Responsibility” ~ Mohandas Karamachand

  15. Diane S. March 15, 2013

    Very Good Diane…Thank you.

  16. Joan-944995 August 20, 2013

    WHY IS OS HARD TO FIND THEY RIGHT MAN, WHEN YOUR FIRST LOVE IS “OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST’
    ARE THE AFFRAID, THAT I HAVE GIVING MY HEART AND SOUL TO “GOD”

  17. Joan-944995 August 20, 2013

    OH I MEAN ‘SO’ SORRY GOD BLESS

  18. Christine-987839 September 1, 2013

    I’m originally from another country, so credit score, credit worthiness versus human value or character mentality is not part of my “dictionary”. I was married to a man who made good money, paid his bills, had a good credit score, but had such a messed up lifestyle that we were never able to live a Christian married life! First because he spent his money on things I had no idea, second, he was never present, even of his body was there I was alone. He introduced me to the importance of credit in this country by long and angry discussions. I just could not get it. If someone pays his/her bills on time why would it matter if it takes a longer time to pay them off or not? Or if you paid off your bill completely why would it matter if you were a few days late one month? The prayer “our Father” in my language states “forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors”. I soon realized two things: this whole concept of credit and person worth is anti Catholic, second maybe this is the reason why I am not married in the US because I just don’t get the relationship of marrying a credit score versus the man I love! I am most bothered about man wasting money on pornography, lust, pretending to be who he is not, than by his credit score. What is the good of finding a date with an 850 credit score and a soul worth -1000?

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