walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

Kids These Days: Credit Scores and Dating edition

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/26/business/even-cupid-wants-to-know-your-credit-score.html?_r=0

Haul out your internal Judgy McJudgerson, because this article and its comments thread has GOLD in it for judging purposes.

On the one hand, this smells like a lot of things about "kids these days". They seem very grown up, compared to my increasingly senile recollections of my youth (I'm three years on the wrong side of their under 40 group, so you should be detecting some attempted humor here). On the other hand, I remain the only person of my (limited) acquaintance to have considered the PSAT, and more importantly NMSQT test to be the one to expend effort on, vs. the SAT -- the PSAT/NMSQT, after all, being the one where you can actually get money (Do I know the odds are slim? Yes, I do. That's why I put effort into it. Effort which paid off). There are some other indications that I might have been financial responsible even as a young'un, despite my spendthrift ways as a parent.

I will say this. The longer you wait to deliver the bad news in a dating relationship, the harder it is to deliver and the harder it is for the recipient to take the action they _want_ to take based on that bad news, thus setting everyone up for lying, dishonesty, discoveries of things you meant to mention but never did (how did I get name-STD-here, why didn't you mention name-kinky-practice-here was central to your sex life, type of thing).

Given that "dating" (as opposed to "hooking up", or whatever it is currently called) is the sort of thing people only seem to do these days if they are (a) some years older than me and/or (b) actually planning on marriage and/or shared financial/legal commitments, it makes no sense to me to wait very far along in this process to bring up things like, oh, btw, I'm x-positive, unable to procreate in the way people might expect for someone of my apparent gender and age, decades older than I present myself, in hock up to my eyeballs, wanted for three felonies, etc. Honestly, this kind of crap should probably be handled by the matchmaker (friends, agency, website) and/or in the communication (text, email, fb messages, phone, blah, blah, bleeping, blah) before the First Date.

But I tend to jump the gun.

A lot.

I did not know R.'s credit score prior to marrying him, however, I knew a huge amount about his finances (home ownership situation, credit card usage, financial planning and investment approach, etc.) from our long-term friendship. My first marriage was to someone who was genuinely spendthrift, and lied about his spending, as well. I assumed that was due to his/our youth (even tho I wasn't that way), but in the course of doing some genealogical research and trying to find divorce decrees for relatives, I discovered how searchable the king county court system was and learned that his foolish ways did not end with our marriage, but led to his wages being garnished over what appears to have been credit card debt several years after we split. Given the debt went to zero as part of the divorce, that's kind of impressive -- and a sign that these things persist as part of a person's makeup and approach to life.

I think a lot of the people who are shocked at this kind of conversation have no mortal clue how financially irresponsible a good chunk of the population is -- or how miserable they would be married to one of them. Sorting this out prior to developing an attachment is Sensible.

Go, kiddies.
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