ESSENCE Poll: Ladies, Is Bad Credit a Deal Breaker?
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When you’re getting to know a new man, you pow wow about lots of different things – where you went to school, past relationships, and even family history. But even with all that sharing, there are still some sticky subjects that often get overlooked on the first, second, or even third, date. Money matters are the biggest sore spot in relationships and the least likely to just come up in casual coversation. It’s natural to avoid any and all talk of salary and debt in the beginning, but the question is, if you knew the news was bad, would you even proceed?

A recent poll conducted by popular credit comparison site revealed that the majority of women would end a relationship if they found out a man was drowning in debt or terrible with his money. Five hundred men and women were polled, and a solid 68 percent of all respondents believe that agreeing about money is fundamental to a successful partnership. (Women especially!) Seventy percent of the women surveyed said they feel lying over bill-paying is a deal breaker, while 55-percent admit they would call it quits if their partner revealed they they’re heavily in debt.

Credit scores can be scary, but they’re not permanent. Could you be open to dating a man with bad credit if you knew he was working hard to fix his financial situation? Ben Woolsey, the Director of Marketing and Consumer Research for, says it may not take him as long as you might think to start turning things around. “Credit scores can begin an upward trend in response to responsible behavior in as little as three months,” Woolsey says. “But, to make substantial improvement, that can generally take longer. Banks and credit card issuers report credit activities to credit reporting agencies each month, but agencies update their credit scores on a less frequent basis – either quarterly or semi-annually.”
Depending on which point in her life a woman is, she may not have the time to wait. We get it. It’s no secret that credit scores can and will heavily affect a person’s ability to achieve certain goals in life, especially as far as homeownership goes. “Bad credit can impact anything that entails obtaining new credit, like a mortgage, car loan, or new credit card account, in terms of even qualifying or the interest rate charged,” says Woolsey. “They can also affect anything that involves pulling a credit report to determine someone’s trustworthiness, say like renting an apartment or certain types of employment too.”

For some women, a new love interest’s poor credit score signals years of patience and support they just don’t have to give. Are you one of them? Share your thoughts and any tales of dating men with good or bad credit below.

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