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Don't ask a potential love interest what their credit score is … not on the first date, anyways

Back in December, the New York Times published an article detailing the sharp rise in interest when it comes to a possible love connection's credit score. And while many were surprised by the audacity of some to dive into the personal finance history of the person sitting across from them at the dinner table, the fact of the matter is credit scores and finances in general are on the minds of potential suitors young and old in the post-Great Recession Era.

There's hardly an American alive today who wasn't affected in some way by the economic collapse that began in 2008, be it in a major or minor capacity. As a consequence, we're all a lot more aware of what can happen when the bottom falls out on our finances, whether it occurs through job loss, a medical emergency, or even just careless spending.

And since lending has become stricter and the prospects of getting approved for big-ticket loans hinging more and more on a solid credit score, it's not unfathomable that a prospective boyfriend or girlfriend would want to know about your credit score and, more importantly, your personal finance history...

That said, you probably shouldn't be so blunt as to ask for a credit score on the very first date.

Maybe it's just me, but "What's your credit score?" feels like a third or fourth date question. By then, you've determined whether you're actually interested in starting a future with this person and have maybe (big "MAYBE") built up a good enough rapport to ask such a personal question.

After all, we've all got some past discrepancies we're not too proud of. Maybe credit score is a sore subject; heck, maybe they're not even sure what their credit score is (in which case, we can help you out). And while it might be important to you to know what kind of loan prospects your potential suitor is working with, it's probably not worth skidding a perfectly good first date to a halt so you can confirm they're at a 720 or higher.

If you absolutely have to know their score (and I promise this will be the last piece of dating advice I'll give for a long time and maybe ever), then be a little subtle about it. Maybe volunteer your score first, mention that you're "saving up" for something big or consider yourself to be "frugal" to get the ball rolling on the conversation. Maybe your date will volunteer their own credit history or score, maybe not. But either way it's a lot better than coming off as rude to someone you might actually like.

Still unclear by the third or fourth date? Then you can be more up front and let the personal finance questions ride - especially if they don't reach for the check...

on Fri, 2013-02-08 12:45