Financial Health Weighs on Prospective Mates, Study Says

When it comes to matters of the heart, finding someone who is emotionally, physically and spiritually compatible is often tough enough.
Finding someone who is financially compatible makes the search even tougher. However, our Louisville bankruptcy lawyers understand that this isn’t stopping people from making it a priority.

A recent survey conducted by found that 30 percent of women and 20 percent of men answered that they wouldn’t marry a person who had a poor credit score. Many of the respondents said that money management skills were an important attribute for a partner. It was particularly important to women, who said financial responsibility and financial compatibility were just as important if not more important than finding someone who was ambitious in their career, physically attractive and intimately compatible.

On the surface, this might seem like one reason to put off filing for bankruptcy if it’s something you are considering. Here is why you shouldn’t:
If you are filing for bankruptcy, the chances are your credit score is already bad. You are overwhelmed with debt, and there are only a few ways that might change. One is that you come up on a substantial financial windfall (unlikely). The other is that you file for bankruptcy and shed most of your significant debt obligations.

It might give you a lower credit score initially, but it lays the foundation for a solid financial footing. In fact, it may even make you a more attractive mate in that you will be entering the union with little to no debt. That is often one of the best starting points.

Also, many people emerging from the recession recognize that there are many reasons why one might file for bankruptcy. It’s not always a matter of irresponsible spending. Often, circumstances were beyond the control of the filer – and a lot of people today know it. The stigma that once existed regarding bankruptcy simply no longer does.

Still, it’s true that prospective dates have a right to be concerned that someone with poor credit could hurt their chances of qualifying for home or vehicle loans or lower interest rates. That’s why the sooner you file, the sooner you can put it behind you and begin to rebuild your score.

Rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy has gotten easier, as, first of all, bankruptcies have gotten more common, and, secondly, creditors recognize that someone with less debt overall is more likely to pay them back. Plus, they know that if you’ve recently filed, you can’t file again for another 7 years, so you’re more likely to pay up.

In some ways, it’s a good thing that financial awareness is beginning to play a role in people’s dating choices. In the past, people might have tended to overlook such traits, if they bothered to ask about them at all. But being on the same page financially can put you both on track for a brighter future.

If you are weighing a walk down the aisle, consider having the following discussions first:

  • Talk about how your parents handled money. This likely will provide some insight onto why your soon-to-be-spouse views money the way they do, as well as some of the choices he or she has made. It will also give you an idea regarding any underlying assumptions you two might have that could conflict.
  • Talk about your current debt situation and credit score. In some cases, it may be beneficial to file for bankruptcy before you marry so that your spouse’s credit score isn’t affected while you handle debts you acquired prior to entering the marriage. Also, that way you can enter the marriage debt-free.
  • Define the goals you have for your financial future. Have an idea of what “financial success” means to both of you and how you plan to work toward becoming debt free or maintaining that status.

If you need to speak to a Kentucky bankruptcy attorney or Louisville foreclosure defense firm, contact the Schwartz Bankruptcy Law Center at 866-270-4495 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

Additional Resources:
Bad credit: A deal breaker for many singles, July 24, 2013, By Blake Ellis, CNN Money
More Blog Entries:
Filing a Louisville Bankruptcy Without Your Spouse, May 15, 2013, Louisville Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer Blog

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