3 little digits that can be a big deal when dating

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Dear Prospective Date,

So, here we are. You swiped right, I swiped right, and the rest (could be) history.

Just for fun, let’s say neither of us ghosts the other, and our romance turns into a serious relationship, whether that takes six months or two years.

Now that you might, quite possibly be The One (I’ve watched too many rom-coms, ok?), there’s a lot I’ll be taking into consideration when determining whether we have a real future together, like if our rising signs are compatible, if you’re Team Uptown or Team Downtown, or if you’re the type of person who claps when the plane lands (sorry, but BYE).

And there’s one thing I definitely need to know before we get serious, so we’ll have to have The Talk. Quite possibly, one of the most important talks we’ll ever have. And no, I’m not talking about where we want to live or what stone setting I’d like my future bling to be in (princess cut, for future reference).

I’m talking about your credit score.

Now, I’m far from the only one who feels this way. Really. As proof that I’m not a total lunatic, 42 percent of Americans say that knowing someone’s credit score could be a deciding factor when dating, a new Bankrate survey found. That includes 50 percent of women and 35 percent of men.

Sure, you might think that I don’t need to know the name of every girl you’ve ever dated (eye roll), but, to be totally real, I do need to know this very important three-digit number.

Why?

Because if we’re thinking about actually starting a life together, I need to know what type of financial shape you’re in before we do adult things like applying for a credit card of taking out a mortgage together. It also shows me you’ve got your stuff together and share the same values that I do, like responsibility and organization. If we’re talking about commingling our credit, I’ve got to make sure you’re in tip-top shape.

So, in the meantime, while you’re sweeping me off my feet, how about sweeping up some of your financial clutter? Avoid late payments and high balances—which, BTW, make up 65 percent of your FICO score—and if you’ve accumulated a bunch of credit card debt, consider consolidating all that with a balance transfer credit card.

No need for you to worry about my credit score, I’ve got that covered!

But, for our first date, all we really need to worry about is who’s getting the check.

XO,

The Cashlorette

Sarah Berger

I am a journalist and penny-pinching millennial living in New York City on a budget.