Money can be the root of many relationship problems—but could it also be a predictor of lifetime love?
Your credit score might predict how well you manage money, how likely you are to default on a loan, or even your financial security—but now you could add a new predictor to that list: how likely you are to find lasting love. Yes, your credit score may be one of the biggest predictors of relationship success, according to a new study done by the Federal Reserve.
And you can forget all the nerdy penny-pincher stereotypes! This study found that the higher your credit score, the more likely you are to find a long-term relationship in the next year. Plus, the higher your score, the more likely the relationship is to last, with every jump in 100 points reducing your risk of breaking up by an impressive 37 percent. Couples who save together, stay together—people tended to be attracted to those with similar credit scores to their own, the researchers found. On the other side, people with the lowest scores were half as likely to find a relationship as those with the highest numbers. And low scorers in a relationship were five times more likely to separate.
This isn't as surprising as you might think. A low score often indicates financial distress and previous research shows that money problems are one of the biggest relationship problems.
Of course, the real connection here isn't in sharing your FICO reports along with a bottle of wine on your first date. Rather, scientists say it's more likely that the traits that make people good with money likely also make them good in relationships. Qualities like conscientiousness, honesty, responsibility, awareness, and risk management work equally well in monetary and romantic partnerships.
Convinced yet? There's still one major issue: Credit scores aren't public—so there isn't a way to find out a potential mate's number without straight-out asking. And while it's probably not a first-date conversation, experts say that talking about money early on in the relationship can make your love stronger. (Here's a handy guide to the right time to talk about everything—including money—in a relationship.)
In the meantime, everyone should know their own number. Thanks to recent legislation, you can get one detailed credit report for free each year at AnnualCreditReport.com. If you want help tracking your score or fixing problems on your report, go to MyFico.com. And to get answers to all your credit score questions, check out the government's own FAQ.