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Should you ask for your future partner's credit score?

June 17, 2013 13:02 IST

Should you ask for your future spouse's credit score?

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Whether you like it or not, money does play a huge role in deciding your future spouse says Rajiv Raj of CreditVidya.com.

Hindu Engineer 29/5.10", 10 lacs per annum wheatish, credit score 810, looking for fair engineer/MBA girl with sharp features and good credit score. Caste no bar. This could be the matrimonial ads of the near future. Dress it up however you may at the end of the day money does matter and credit score are an excellent barometer of a person's money management skills

We know our credit score gets checked when we apply for a credit card, a job, or a loan. It's not far ahead that it will apply to people who want to get married. After all credit score is one of the best ways to get financial information.

Political correctness

Is asking a potential mate's credit score politically incorrect? We think 'NO'. It is in fact essential. Landlords and lenders may look at your credit score to help determine if you are worth taking a chance on. Even employers may do a credit check on you. Why not a prospective mate? How you handle money says a lot about your ability to be organised and responsible. Why would anyone with options risk falling for someone likely to bring heavy debt and poor spending and saving habits to a relationship?

Information that bonds or breaks

The credit score can of a person can be a potential deal breaker in a marriage. Would you like to marry a person who has a huge loan liability or bad spending and repayment records? All love and attraction flies out of the window if a couple is financially incompatible.

Banks remain wary of making loans to borrowers with tarnished scores, typically 700 and below; the best scores range from 800 to 850, and scores above 750 are considered good. A low score could quash dreams of buying a house, and result in steep interest rates.

Looking beyond the face value

Although credit scores are excellent reference points to start with one must look beyond the face value. While date/looking for a potential spouse give the person the benefit of doubt. A bad credit score could be for a number of reasons -- it does not always amount to bad financial sense.

  • Some of the reasons why a person could have a bad credit score could be
  • A mistake in reporting by the banks
  • A financial emergency which may take a few months to emerge from
  • A few bad credit decisions which have now been corrected.
  • The person had very little credit history
  • So do look at the credit score closely but also make judgement call based on your own understanding of the person.

The author is a credit expert with 10 years of experience in personal finance and consumer banking industry and another 7 years in credit bureau sector. Rajiv was instrumental in setting up India's first credit bureau, Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL). He has also worked with Citibank, Canara Bank, HDFC Bank, IDBI Bank and Experian in various capacities.


Image: All the love and attraction can fly out of the window if a couple is financially incompatible
Photographs: Yogita/Wikimedia Creative Commons