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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.
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?