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By Ethan Wolff-Mann
October 6, 2015
Sarina Finkelstein (photo illustration)—Getty Images (1); Shutterstock (1)

Banks and credit card companies use your credit score to see how much they’re willing to lend you. Could potential romantic partners start considering it too?

According to the Federal Reserve Board, they’d have reason to: Recently, the Board published a working paper that showed a very strong link between high credit scores and long-lasting relationships.

Using Equifax data of 12 million consumers, the study compared credit scores with relationship status, which they inferred by noting a shared address for a few quarters. Similarly, they could figure out if couples had split up by noting if the addresses changed. If three quarters went by in which a identified couple didn’t share an address anymore, they were marked as broken up.

In addition to linking high credit scores and long-term relationship success, the study found an unpleasant corollary: couples with mismatched credit scores likely did not have a very rosy future ahead of them. Differing credit scores, the study writes, could mean different credit usage between a pair, and thus the possibility of financial duress and breakup-inducing strife. Non-financially, high credit scores are also a workable stand-in for general trustworthiness.

As Quartz notes, this isn’t exactly new thinking; people have known this for a while, discussing credit scores on first dates or actively searching out people with the same creditworthiness.

One of the paper’s conclusions is dubious, however. It claims “credit scores reveal an individual’s relationship skill.” But since it doesn’t take relationship quality into account, that feels like a stretch. After all, perhaps these people are just settling?

Quiz: Are You and Your Partner a Money Match?

Advertiser Disclosure

Money has partnered with CardRatings.com and ConsumersAdvocate.org, among other companies, for our coverage of credit card products. Money, CardRatings.com, and ConsumersAdvocate.org may receive a commission from card issuers. For example, Money receives a commission from Citi when you apply and are approved for a Citi product through the links on this site.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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