Consumer Watch: Money management and relationships

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by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on July 25, 2013 at 4:47 PM

(WHAS11) -- The most important digits in a new relationship may be different than you think. A survey finds singles are increasingly looking at a potential partner's credit score before things get too serious. Money management can be a deal breaker and a heartbreaker. Good Morning Kentuckiana’s Andy Treinen has today’s Consumer Watch.

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but an ugly credit history? Those are cold, hard numbers. “You figure the lower the credit score, the less responsible they probably are, and debt, yeah, you don't want to be taking on high debt,” Experian Consumer Services Sr. Vice President Ken Chaplin, said, “you want to make sure they know how to handle their finances and aren't just frivolous.”

A recent survey by freecreditscore.com found that respondents ranked financial responsibility as important as physical attractiveness and compatibility when choosing a long-term partner. About half said they'd discussed credit scores with a romantic interest. “The credit score being a level playing field. It doesn't necessarily mean wealth, but what it indicates is financial responsibility,“ Chaplin, explained.

One in four surveyed, said a bad credit score would be a deal breaker. 20 percent of men, and 30 percent of women won’t commit to someone with credit issues. Some worried a partner with bad credit might make it difficult to qualify for home loans and auto loans. Others worried about the friction poor finances could cause in a relationship.

“You may not be aware of your partner's financial responsibility, so what we hope this will do is encourage the conversation earlier in a relationship, knowing that it's such an important factor in longevity of a partnership,” Chaplin, said.

Under law, consumers are entitled to one free credit report each year, from each of the three major reporting agencies. If you have a consumer issue you’d like us to look into send an e-mail to:  consumerwatch@whas11.com.

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