According to a recent survey in MarketWatch, over 40% of Americans say bad credit could be a dealbreaker when it comes to dating.

“Wait… what does credit have to do with love? Shouldn’t we focus on a meaningful connection?”

Yes, of course! Butterfly attraction, personality, and a strong bond are still top priorities when it comes to dating. However, as romantic as chemistry can be, sometimes love, just ain’t enough. Here’s why. A solid relationship is generally built on a foundation of love, respect, and trust. But like it or not, a long-term relationship, such as a marriage, isn’t just an emotional partnership; it’s also a financial one. When two people are joined in matrimony, they are also joining their monetary responsibilities in life. Whether it’s daily purchases such as gas and groceries, or larger investments like leasing a car or buying a home; if you or your partner has poor credit or financial health, it could drastically affect your chances of achieving some major milestones. Here are 3 things you can do to manage your credit and finances to potentially increase your odds of landing a fiscally fruitful connection.

1. Be Responsible with Your Finances

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes… well, a heck of a lot of money to purchase things like an engagement ring, a new home, or even a baby carriage. If your future love life leads you down any of these paths, it’s important to start taking control of your finances now. And here’s the big secret: maintaining a healthy financial profile doesn’t mean you have to be a millionaire. In short, taking control of your finances simply means you are responsible with your cash flow. You pay your bills on time, you don’t purchase items you can’t afford, and you do your best to save and plan for the future. As a general rule of thumb, being responsible with your finances will also help you promote good credit health.

2. Master Your Credit

In addition to a healthy financial profile, mastering your credit could potentially help you qualify for a dream wedding, starter home, or any large love purchase. The first step in mastering your credit is knowing where you stand. By checking your $0 credit score, you can get a gauge of your current credit status and determine whether or not additional steps need to be taken. Furthermore, it’s important to realize that lenders have a choice when it comes to which credit bureaus’ data they use when determining your creditworthiness. With this in mind, it’s wise to understand and master your credit data with Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. To access your 3-bureau credit reports and scores, sign up for ScoreShuttle to start mastering your credit now!

3. Avoid Date Debt

If you’re actively dating, odds are you’re spending more money than usual. Expensive dating sites, fancy dinners, new outfits – it all adds up. However you go about looking for love, avoid going into date debt. How? Instead of paying monthly fees for a premium online dating service, why not try the free versions? They say love happens when you least expect it. With that said, your odds of meeting Mr. or Mrs. right are largely the same regardless of the site or the setting you choose. The key is to just get and stay out there. Another tip to keep your dating dollars down is to plan simple and inexpensive meet-up spots. Why spend $100+ bucks impressing someone you may or may not even have a connection with? Instead, meet virtually, go out for coffee, or even a walk on the beach for date one. If there’s chemistry, you can always have a second location in mind. Lastly, don’t go overboard on the dress-to-impress wardrobe. One or two staple pieces are perfect until you find a match you want to spend more time with.

Perfect dating profile: check. Positive attitude: done. Desirable credit: we’re getting closer! By following the tips above, you’ll be on your way to a balanced, financially stable love connection in no time.

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