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Scores app: Dear Valentine, Can You Love Me for My Credit Score?

Scores app: What’s more important: Overall compatibility and happiness or finding a spouse who can match your income?

By: BLOOMBERG
Updated on: Feb 14 2024, 07:22 IST
Filtering prospective partners based on financial status is still a taboo in online dating (Pexel)

It’s common to have a checklist in the quest for finding love. People set all sorts of criteria, both in their minds and explicitly in their online dating profiles, specifying what sort of mate or lifestyle they’re seeking. If you can’t imagine a life without your dog or cat, screen for pet lovers. If having kids is a deal breaker for you, then toss that into the mix. And as marketers remind us every Valentine’s Day, entire dating apps exist to cull potential prospects based on age, political views, religion, occupation and even height.

Yet one of the few online dating moves that still makes people squeamish is filtering prospective partners based on financial status.

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It shouldn’t. Getting on the same financial page is a foundational part of relationships and marriage, so why not include money on your love list? Just know that involving money in the hunt for love limits your options and might eliminate potential partners who in many other ways could provide you with a meaningful and fulfilling relationship. For me, overall compatibility and happiness was far more important than finding a husband who would match my income.

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Marrying for money is as old as marriage itself. Well, it’s really the history of marriage. It wasn’t until the 18th and 19th centuries that love matches gained wider acceptance in Western culture. Even then, financial status remained key. Novelists like Jane Austen explored the tension between pursuing economic security and following one’s heart, a dilemma that took on enormous importance at a time when women — even those who inherited great wealth — didn’t legally control their own finances in marriage.

Today, finding a mate who fulfills some financial expectations is less about reputation and more about a desire for a certain lifestyle or a partner who can seamlessly transition into your social circle. There are, naturally, apps for people seeking their financial soulmate. One is Scores, a dating app that requires users to have a credit score of at least 675 to be eligible. First of all, in terms of credit scores, that isn’t setting the bar very high. Also, a strong credit score doesn’t mean someone has a healthy financial life. It could just reflect the responsible management of significant debt. (It also indicates that, for better or worse, someone has given a dating site access to their credit report.)

Sites such as Millionaire Match emphasize prioritizing money — though it doesn’t require members to be millionaires. Others, such as The League and Raya, lean heavily on exclusivity and vet potential members to give the impression of offering a high-earning-potential dating pool. 

Another approach is to differentiate yourself financially on free apps like Tinder, Hinge or Bumble. Some users have even taken to including screenshots of their credit scores in their profiles. There are of course situations where no documentation is required: Philadelphia Eagles center and multimillionaire Jason Kelce met his wife Kylie Kelce on Tinder. 

There is nothing fundamentally wrong with wanting a life partner who has a similar income or relationship to money, just as most people wouldn’t judge someone wanting a partner who shared their religious beliefs.

Ultimately, what’s more important than making a perfect financial match is finding someone with whom you can easily and openly communicate about money. 

A recent viral TikTok video illustrates what can happen when romantic partners don’t have those conversations. The video purports to show a young couple being asked how much they have in their individual bank accounts. About $1,200, the man says. “70K,” his girlfriend claims she has. The boyfriend erupts in fury that his girlfriend has so much money yet expects him to pay for everything. That’s the way things are supposed to work, she responds.

The TikTok couple’s silly behavior reminds us of another reason why focusing on money, while not wrong, can be short-sighted. Incomes will ebb and flow over the course of a marriage, and the dynamics of who earns more could change. This makes it even more important to prioritize healthy communication and establish shared goals and practices, habits that will outlast any credit score.

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First Published Date: 14 Feb, 07:22 IST
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