Bad Credit = Bad Name
The other day I was watching a Christian pastor discuss how to choose someone to marry and he emphatically said; don’t marry nobody with bad credit. Here it is we’re trying to buy a house and we can’t because of your bad credit. Your name is bad. Marry someone with a good name. Before I dig into why I disagree with him, let me say this, good credit is important however, you are NOT your credit score.
Tough Economic Times
Good credit is not the be all and end all of the marriage and mate selection conversation. Now more than ever, people that once had stellar credit are finding themselves with bad credit. We are living in tough economic times and everyone is affected in some way. I know a gentleman that is an excellent money manager. He tithes, pays his bills on time, does not live above his means ever, knows how to shop a bargain, saves more than he spends, has a very limited number of credit cards and has strict rules around how he uses those cards, buys what he needs, splurges once every blue moon yet is not a miser and makes really wise financial decisions. His stellar credit rating went south when he was laid off from his very lucrative career and couldn’t find a new gig for two and a half years. Today, he is back in the work force and doing everything he can to revive his credit score.
Keepin Up with the Joneses
I know another gentleman who has good credit yet there is no white space on his credit report because he has every credit card known to man. He buys things he can’t afford to impress people that don’t know his name and he’s constantly keeping up with the Joneses. While he pays his bills on time, he’s constantly stressed out and unable to sleep easy because of his enormous debts. In addition, he’s stuck in a job he doesn’t like because of all the debt he’s accumulated and continues to accumulate. To me, he is a much bigger financial risk than the first gentleman with bad credit.
Where money and credit scores are concerned, the conversation is bigger than three numbers. We need to look at:
- Spending habits
- Saving habits
- Overall money mentality
- Circumstances of life; why does this person have bad credit?
- Work ethic and work history
- Is this person a financial risk?
- Budget – do they have a budget?
- Why/how do they spend money?
- Do they live on credit cards?
Money and Mate Selection
Those are just a few of the many things we need to look at when we think about money and mate selection. In addition, if you do marry someone with bad credit, you don’t get to remind him or her every day about it. Their credit is now your credit therefore you need to work together at making the bad good. In the example the pastor used about buying a house with a spouse that came into the marriage with bad credit, I believe it would be wise for a couple in that predicament to sit with a financial counselor for the first year of marriage to help them clean up credit and other financial issues and set them up to buy a home. That’s what marriage is all about – supporting each other through the good and the bad.
Get Your House In Order
If you’re single and reading this, now would be a great time to get your financial house in order as much as you can before marriage. A girlfriend of mine was on a mission to pay off all of her debts and spruce up her credit rating prior to marriage however, she met her now husband along the way. While she was able to clear up a lot of debt, she still had a small chunk to pay off and so did he. They were both honest with each other about their financial goals and they held each other accountable. Today they are married and thriving financially.
A Closer Look
If you happen to meet someone with bad credit who is otherwise perfectly suited for you, take a closer look and find out why. I would hate to see you walk away from the best thing that ever happened to you because of three numbers that are always subject to change.
Something to think about…
What say you…how much does a persons credit score matter? Would you marry someone with bad credit? How important is credit when choosing a mate? Are we making it more important than it is? Chime in…