While many think the key to scoring an online date is a good photo, a new study finds that singles are really looking for someone who has their finances in check.
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New data released by Discover (NYSE:DFS) and Match Media Group — which includes online sites Tinder, Match.com and OKCupid — found that 58% of online daters say that having a good credit score is more attractive than driving a nice car. Likewise, 50% think a high score is more impressive than a job title, while 40% say they favor it over a physically fit body.
Dr. Helen Fisher, Ph.D., chief scientific advisor for Match.com who worked on the study, tells FOX Business that while financial status is a sticking point for a lot of people, the subject rarely comes up during the dating process.
“They avoid the topic of money, but one out of five relationships end because of financial stress,” Fisher says. “So, perhaps by the 10th date, one could hold up their phone, showing their credit score, and say to a potential partner: ‘This is mine; what’s yours?’ The person isn’t asking how much money the other makes; they are just asking how they handle the money that they have.”
Fisher says this single act could help avoid serious problems in a partnership down the road. Earlier this month, Sarah Berger, founder of TheCashlorette.com, a personal finance blog for women, conducted a survey that found 48% of Americans who are either married or living with a partner admit they get into scuffles over money, with a vast majority saying it has to do with their partner’s spending habits.
Both Discover and Match say they decided to collaborate on the independent survey to better understand the relationship between finance and romance. Overall, 69% of survey respondents say a person’s credit history is a “very or an extremely important quality” when looking for someone to date. That percentage even topped sense of humor at 67%, attractiveness at 51% and ambition at 50%.
That percentage did waver a little when comparing males and females, as 77% of women and 61% of men say financial wit is their top priority when finding a soulmate.
In May, Bankrate.com released a similar study that found nearly half of Americans (42%) say that someone’s credit score can impact their decision on whether or not to pursue dating them. And women again were the harshest credit critics. Half of women polled say a low score would make them look the other way, whereas men came in at 35%.
“Credit scores will continue to become more important to singles, I think, due to two dramatic world trends. Foremost, women are piling into the job market in cultures around the world — creating the double income family. Both sexes now have fiscal responsibilities, and men want to know their partner’s ability to handle money, just as women have long wanted to know this about men,” Fisher says.