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New take to ‘pop the question’

The young woman was musing about a possible long-term relationship with her handsome date when he suddenly popped the question: “What is your credit score?”

Surprised and somewhat dismayed, she admitted it wasn’t all that good, and according to The New York Times, that was the end of the story for her romantic visions.

While many people don’t even know what a credit score is, much less what their individual number is, the Times says there is a growing realization among young marriage-minded men and women that a partner with a poor credit score can affect the rates they pay on mortgages, car loans, credit cards and other common financial transactions.

Credit scores, calculated on your payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit and types of credit used, range from a low of 300 to a high of 850. Scores above 750 are considered good; below 660 poor.

“Credit scores are like the dating equivalent of a sexually transmitted disease test,” Manisha Thakor, founder of MoneyZen Wealth Management, told the Times. “It’s a shorthand way to get a sense of someone’s financial past the same way an STD test gives some information about a person’s sexual past.”

Money is the No. 1 problem in marriages and also the leading cause of divorce, according to TV’s Dr. Phil McGraw. So it makes sense to find out if you are linking your future to someone who can destroy the good record you have built up over time.

Whether or not you are on the hunt for a mate, it’s worthwhile to know your credit score and try to improve it if it’s low. You can get free credit reports once a year from the three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, TransUnion and Experian – at www.annualcreditreport.com.

Scripps Howard News Service

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