Post-Recession, a Hot Credit Score Is the New Sexy

couple lovers talk and smile in ...
Guryanov Andrey/Shutterstock

Revealing your credit score is becoming the new form of pillow talk.

A new survey by Experian Consumer Services (EXPGY) found that 61 percent of couples married after the 2008 recession discussed their credit scores before getting married, compared with only 35 percent of couples who married before 2008.

Couples who married after 2008 were more likely to talk about other financial issues, such as their credit and financial goals, the survey found. And more than just improving their finances as a couple, the survey found that such financial talk is sexier than how a partner looks and that talking openly about personal finances and credit makes the partner more attractive.

'I'll Show You Mine ...'

"It was a 'I'll show you mine, if your show me yours' type of conversation," says Denise Winston, author of a financial guide, who shared credit scores with her future spouse before getting married almost 14 years ago, but wasn't part of the Experian survey.

"Credit scores have the ability to impact our quality of life together." - Denise Winston

"Why? Because credit scores have the ability to impact our quality of life together -- where you live, what you drive, getting a job, insurance and so much more," Winston says. "Not awkward at all for me, maybe a bit for him simply because he never thought about how credit can impact your life."

He had a $40 collection due to a dispute that he insisted he would not pay, she says. That $40 collection ended up costing them $15,000 on their mortgage after they got married because they missed a .25 percent discount for not having all borrowers on the loan at 720 or higher. His credit score was 719, she says. Winston, a banker at the time, had a 780.

In their conversation, they described every detail of daily life of their dream life and dream spouse, including how they dressed, what they drove and if they traveled and had children. "Once you have a conversation like that you become very clear about core values if this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with," she says.

They now each check their credit reports each year and share the information for lots of reasons, Winston says: To prevent identity theft, secret spending and to ensure overall good financial hygiene.

"Credit reveals a lot about a person and their past decisions and life experience," Winston says. "The main thing for me was, I needed to be sure I knew what I was getting myself into. Nothing is worse than turning a blind eye to something, then complaining about it later in a relationship and loosing respect for someone or allowing resentment to build up. Unfortunately, during my 25 years as a banker I saw it all to often."

As the Experian study found, a good credit score is becoming the new sexy, though more for women than men. When asked what makes their spouse more attractive, 73 percent of women and 60 percent of men said openness about personal finances and credit score made the other person more attractive.

Financial attractiveness has become more important than physical attractiveness since the recession. The study found that 95 percent of participants rate "financial responsibility" as important, ahead of "physical attractiveness" at 86 percent and "career ambition" at 77 percent.

Less Stress by Discussing Finances

Talking about credit scores and financial goals regularly leads to less stress in marriage, the survey found. Credit scores were noted as a source of stress for 21 percent of married couples surveyed. However, couples who discuss their scores and financial goals monthly are more apt to agree about financial decisions, including how to use credit as a couple.

The study found that 82 percent of post-recession couples discussed financial goals with their spouse at least monthly, compared with 65 percent of couples married before 2008.

They discussed how much they'd spend before talking with a spouse about it first, including small, everyday purchases.

For example, couples who got married after the recession said the average maximum amount they'd spend before talking with a spouse is $256. Couples married before the recession said they'd feel comfortable spending an average of $1,022 before checking with their partner.

In discussing small, everyday purchases, 75 percent of post-recession couples will likely do so, compared with 59 percent before the recession.

Even the little things matter when discussing financial issues with your spouse or future spouse. Remember that when you see flowers for sale.

Aaron Crowe is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance topics. He has written for Bankrate, LearnVest, AARP, WiseBread and AOL.

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Just because you have a high credit score doesn't mean you really own anything, makes you kind of wonder who really does or are people just mouthing off.

July 06 2014 at 10:44 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to davchff's comment

..people are "just mouthing off." How bout paying cash for everything, then you need never worry about a credit score? Buy Build house...Cash. (No mortgage payments!!!) Can't find a spouse candidate who can agree with your austerity lifestyle??? Good. It's a blessing when they walk away!

July 06 2014 at 4:36 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

senile 70 year old Hillary Benghazi says shes "DEAD BROKE" n wants to know if any ' I mean followers, will send her n impeached slick willy some more money n buy her book "WHAT DIFFERACE DOES IT MATTER" so they can support their ten houses n dag faced Chelsea $150,000 a year college.

July 05 2014 at 6:52 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to korrectionelecshun's comment

Does it suck to be poor and ignorant?

July 05 2014 at 7:32 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to h.ecdag's comment

I don't know ,maybe ask senile Hillary Benghazi or impeached slick willy clintoon ,they are both "DEAD BROKE",or better yet maybe you know n can tell us~~go ahead the mic is yours ,we are all ears like ovomit..

July 05 2014 at 8:13 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down

hack dud wears the crown when it comes to ignorance

July 06 2014 at 12:10 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down


Funny thing, the current economic collapse actually started under Bush's administration, many of the problems that made that collapse have had their roots in the past misdoings of over a century............. and yet it's Obama's fault? The only thing America is truly hostage to is fools like you who look for someone to blame rather than look for equitable and lasting solutions............


Tony the Obamite "yes we can" chanting stooge forgets that it was Pelosi and Reid who controlled congress when things started going down hill during the latter part of the
Bush years. Poor Tony's suffering from Bush derangement syndrome.

rate up

rate down

July 05 2014 at 5:15 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to skcarcomed_02's comment

Yawn. Hi Bagger.

July 05 2014 at 6:17 PM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to h.ecdag's comment

Only a bottom of the barrel uneducated maggot uses the term bagger. Go take a nap, you must be tired from all the pretending that you did today hackdud

July 06 2014 at 12:12 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down

I wonder what dragged the 'live or die by your credit score' crowd out of obscurity. They went away for a while, now you can't turn on yout TV without ads galore, all with the same tired (and incorrect) message. It's not something you should worry about. Do your best to pay your bills and you'll be fine. Don't get stupid with money. It's still a buyer's market for big ticket items.

July 05 2014 at 3:50 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bdgrizcp's comment

First the financial people got Americans hooked on the buy it now pay it later mantra with easy credit and low interest. (Remember back in the Carter days when the reason for high interest rates was inflation?) Then they bumped up the interest rates and now have the social climbers comparing some secretly computer number determining insurance rates, mort interest, ability to rent an apt, CC interest and now marriage potential.

I have a low credit score. Not sure how low because I've never checked it. But I owe nobody, bought a new car last year for cash and own the small company that I work for.

I have no credit cards or accounts for either myself or the business.

Doubt if I'd get real involved with a woman that was so wrapped up in a credit score. I don't need her credit, salary or savings. And if she needed to squeeze every drop of credit to buy a house or car we wouldn't be compatable anyway. My friends and I laugh at those "high credit scores" driving around in leased Mercedes and Jags hitting designers bars ******* down $5 beers with names they can't pronounce.

But, I also use a Harley for primary transportation and she probably wouldn't go along with that either.

July 06 2014 at 11:35 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The Great Recession has not ended, and unfortunately many people have lower credit scores through no fault of their own. Many employers now use credit scores as one way of screening prospective new hires, which isn't fair either.

July 05 2014 at 1:28 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to RMS's comment

Not fair? If a person has a short dip in their credit score, this might not be a big deal. But, if they have a low credit score for most of their life, would you want that person working and making decisions for your company?..................

July 05 2014 at 4:00 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to barryaclarke's comment

Maybe if I was looking for a CEO or Prez. But labor to entry/mid level mgmt? I'm a lot more concerned with how they treat customers, equipment, subordinates, and my company reputation than I am with whether they bought too big of a house or had a spouse that spent a lot.

July 06 2014 at 11:19 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down

my credit score is 845 does this mean that im going to get lucky with some sexy lady today

July 05 2014 at 12:12 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Get Your Credit Score Free

July 05 2014 at 8:45 AM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply

840 here. Happily married and she's an 810. Life doesn't suck.

July 04 2014 at 9:42 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

That's because nobody has any real money, and if your talking credit score while in the sack, no wonder most women think your morons!

July 04 2014 at 6:28 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

ladies 804 here

July 04 2014 at 5:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply