Talking about money on a first date is typically taboo. But knowing your date's financial status early on could play a major role in how things play out.
According to a new survey of over 1,000 people by Bankrate, 42 percent of Americans say a dinged up credit score could make a date way less attractive.
The number matters more to one gender: 50 percent of women say a low credit score would affect their decision to date someone, but only 35 percent of men agree.
"I consider finances and how someone manages them to be a pivotal topic when choosing a partner," Asia Martin-Ingram, a 25-year-old working in digital advertising in New York, tells Bankrate. "Bad credit could point to deeper issues of irresponsibility. They may be unstable in other areas of their life."
Despite how important a potential partner's financial standing appears to be, only six percent of survey respondents consider it an appropriate topic for the first few dates. A whopping 74 percent say it's okay for couples to avoid discussing their credit scores until a few months into the relationship — or even to wait until they're engaged.
"It's probably not a great idea to ask for someone's financial history on the first date," Mike Cetera, credit card analyst at Bankrate.com, says. "However, it's better to know if a potential partner has a history of bad financial decisions before the relationship goes too far, especially if you plan on making large purchases together or sharing bank accounts."
Why do credit scores matter? They serve as a measure of your financial trustworthiness and they're used by banks and other financial institutions to determine the interest rates you'll pay on credit cards, car leases or a mortgage. A high score indicates to institutions that you're responsible with money, while a low score might imply otherwise.
While credit scores certainly aren't a perfect measure of your overall financial health by any means, they can serve a quick way for a potential partner to gauge where you are.
But rather than pushing someone into the friend zone over a number, have a frank and open discussion about your financial habits, histories and goals. Here are five questions to get you started: