Credit Scores Are the New Hotness

Photo credit: e-gabi, CC0 Public Domain.

We’re nearing the end of our Money and Relationships series at The Billfold—and CNBC just posted an article titled “Being good with money will get you more dates than being hot, survey says.”

It’s like they reached out and gave me a present.

Let’s take a look at what this survey says!

The survey [by Discover and Match Media Group] polled 2,000 U.S. adults who either had an active dating platform or met their partner online.

The results: 58 percent of online daters say good credit score in a potential partner is more attractive than driving a nice car. 50 percent say good credit is more important than an impressive job title. And 40 percent said they favor good credit over physical fitness.

Does Match make you put your credit score in your dating profile? How do these online daters get this information? Are they asking financially invasive first-date questions like “if you could describe your credit score in three numbers, what would they be?”

CNBC quotes Dr. Helen Fisher—yes, that Helen Fisher, the one who did the TED talk about increasing attraction through dopamine and created the relationship personality test that told me I would never find love—who explains that physical attractiveness is temporary but credit scores are forever:

A nice car, a job title and physical fitness say “who you are today,” whereas “a credit score says who you were yesterday, who you were 10 years ago … and who you’re likely to be tomorrow.”

Except… that’s not true. Credit scores can change a lot over ten years. (Ask anyone who’s tanked or rebuilt their credit.) The bad stuff falls off your credit report after seven years, give or take, because the whole point is that one mistake doesn’t have to permanently ruin your credit. Also, I could lower my credit score right now just by applying for another credit card.

It takes time to build good credit, but it also takes time to save up for that car, work your way up to that job title, or do all of those push-ups. That kind of stuff might not always describe who you’ll be tomorrow—because people, and their circumstances, do change—but they say a lot about who you were yesterday, and the day before that. (Yes, I know that sometimes having a nice car says that you have parents who bought you a nice car, or that you love cars more than people. But I think I’ve made my point.)

Anyway, if you go to the source—as one always should when they read an article that includes the words “survey says”—you get this helpful tip:

Online daters might have better luck finding Mr. or Ms. Right if they swap out the profile picture of their expensive car with an image of their credit score, according to a recent survey by Discover and Match Media Group.

If anyone has seen a credit score photo on Tinder, please let me know.

This story is part of The Billfold’s Money and Relationships series.

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