Hey baby, What's your credit score?

The economy is affecting all aspects of our lives, so it's no surprise that individuals on the dating scene are starting to check out their date's assets before getting serious. ABC news 7 reports that a recent Match.com survey found that over 80% of singles are more selective about who they date now that the economy has gone south. Financial guru Suze Orman also weighed in on the issue of creditworthy dates in a recent Oprah appearance, recommending that you, "FICO first, then sex."

Coping With the Economy

    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the city would like to spend $45 million to retrain laid-off financial industry workers and provide capital and resources for businesses they might start.

    Louis Lanzano, AP

    Denny's Super Bowl ad, announcing a free Grand Slam breakfast for a limited time, drew crowds early Tuesday morning, Feb. 3, 2009.

    Alex Slitz, The Saginaw News / AP

    Denny's gave away Grand Slam breakfasts for one day in its 1,152 restaurants nationwide.

    Alex Slitz, The Saginaw News / AP

    Salvage groceries are items that get returned to warehouses for some reason -- dented cans, over-ordering, use-by dates are getting close or items that don't sell well. This "remainders" business is getting hot in our bad economy.

    www.wiswebpro.com

    Many libraries across the country are experiencing an increase in patrons, especially job seekers who use the Internet to look for work and borrow DVDs for cheap entertainment. Even with budget cutbacks, some are thinking of buying more computer terminals and expanding wi-fi options.

    Pat Wellenbach, AP

    To try to spur tourism and help out local businesses, the state of Massachusetts is sponsoring a new program called MassValuePass which has coupons, special offers and huge discounts.

    www.massvacation.com

    You don't have to just let unwanted gifts sit around in your house, gathering dust. With belts tightening, you need to make use of all your assets, so a new site, barterquest.com has found a way to match up people and their stuff to barter.

    barterquest.com

    To deal with the rising cost of food, Royal Caribbean is adding a surcharge for steaks served in its dining rooms.

    AP

    Hybrids are one option for fuel-conscious drivers, of course, but many are now opting for even smaller vehicles: scooters. Sales are up 66 percent so far in 2008. Honda is releasing its 2009 model early to capture as many customers as possible.

    M. Spencer Green, AP

    Blaming inflation and rising food and energy prices, the 99 Cents Only discount store announced it was bumping its top price to 99.99 cents -- or one-hundredth of a cent less than a dollar -- the first price increase in the chain's 26-year history.

    Nick Ut, AP

There are even websites devoted to matching people with others in a select credit score range! One such site, CreditScoreDating.com with the tagline "Credit Scores Are Sexy," claims to help thousands of people a day meet others with good credit.

If you're looking for a date with a good credit score, it turns out you don't need to go to a specialized site; just take one look at your potential date. A recent study published in The Economist showed a link between a person's face and their credit score. In the study, scientists had individuals rate the trustworthiness and likelihood of repayment for a $100 loan and found that there was a correlation between user ratings and actual credit scores. While the study hasn't isolated what makes someone appear to have bad credit, it seems you should trust your instincts in order to find a creditworthy date.

Given the huge impact money has on a relationship and the fact that most Americans will talk about sex before they will discuss their credit card debt, being open about debt and credit is as important as ever. Rather than hiding your bad credit, you'd be better off being open with your dates, if not on the first date then at least before you get ready to walk down the aisle. Not everyone will be as understanding about massive credit card debt as Marshall was towards his fiance on hit TV show How I Met Your Mother.


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