At What Point in a New Relationship Do You Discuss Credit Scores?

One month in? One year in?

Photo credit: torbakhopper, CC BY 2.0.

I love the headline on this CNBC piece because it implies that it’s going to be about some kind of inappropriate behavior, like picking up the check without offering to split it (or vice versa). But it’s actually about credit scores, and when daters should disclose them:

Despite how important a potential partner’s financial standing appears to be, only six percent of survey respondents consider it an appropriate topic for the first few dates. A whopping 74 percent say it’s okay for couples to avoid discussing their credit scores until a few months into the relationship — or even to wait until they’re engaged.

I’ve never discussed my credit score with anyone I’ve dated. Ever. Not even when we had been dating for over a year. I have discussed other aspects of personal finance, mostly related to either long-term goals or short-term budgets. I used to date this guy who was at least as frugal as I was, and we definitely spent time talking about how we’d both managed to stay out of debt thus far (my credit card debt—which I PAID OFF last fall—was still to come). But credit scores never came up.

CNBC notes that men and women tend to have different views on the importance of a good credit score in a relationship:

50 percent of women say a low credit score would affect their decision to date someone, but only 35 percent of men agree.

Regardless of your opinion on credit scores, money does matter in relationships—especially when you marry someone and combine your financial habits with theirs. I’ll remind you of two of our recent Financial Fails stories:

So. Would you ask a new romantic interest to disclose their credit score? Would you start by sharing yours? How would you bring it up, and when?

After all, until Tinder and OKCupid add credit score options to their profiles—which I could totally see OKC doing—we’ll have to learn this information the old-fashioned way.