Again this year, myFICO recently conducted a Valentine’s Day Survey of more than three thousand consumers, revealing many of their attitudes about relationships and money. I've highlighted some of the results (and couldn't resist making a few of my own comments):
34% of couples don’t discuss finances or FICO scores until well into the relationship, while almost 12% keep their income, financial standing and FICO scores entirely to themselves. (What do these people talk about after the first couple of dates?)
18%-22% claim to be complete opposites on the spending spectrum, or at least drastically different in their spending habits. (I think I know what these people talk about!)
41% keep finances separate, with another 36% of couples holding both joint and individual credit obligations. (Can't help but think that the 23% who don’t maintain individually held accounts could be in for an unfortunate surprise one day.)
13% would quit dating someone if, within the first six months, they found out their partner was in debt and/or had a low FICO score. (These people apparently don’t believe in fighting the odds.)
9% said a good FICO score is the characteristic they find most important in a date, while 82% voted for personality. (Good to know personality still beats FICO scores!)
And in honor of Valentine’s Day 2011, I’m proud to introduce this (sort of) new message board: Relationships and Money, or the board formerly known as Divorce and your Credit. If you haven’t yet been to the Divorce and your Credit board -- or maybe you just haven’t wanted to be seen at home reading it – there is a lot of great information that anyone in any kind of relationship should know.
For example, did you know that even in some non-community property states, a spouse can be held liable for the other spouse’s medical debts? Or that even though you may have filed a quit claim deed on property now held by your ex, a foreclosure on that loan could legitimately appear on your credit report and remain there for seven years?
This new Relationships and Money board is intended for discussions about how money impacts relationships and how relationships impact money. Mainly we hope to broaden the topic from emphasizing how failed relationships can impact credit to also featuring success stories and discussions about just plain old money issues that can arise in any relationship.
What would you say are some of the most common myths surrounding financial matters among couples? Have you had to learn any love and money lessons the hard way? Having a hard time financially and relationship-wise? Have a question to ask of our volunteer experts?
Hope to see as many of you as possible on this (sort of) new Relationships and Money board! Happy Valentine’s Day!
Formerly consumer affairs manager, media spokesman and myFICO Forums community manager at FICO, I'm now freelance writing for CreditCards.com and my own site, SpeakingOfCredit.com.