When to Have the 'Money Talk'


There has been a lot of chatter about an article that made the rounds last week on a woman who requests to see a man’s credit score by the fourth date, and a couple who met on a dating site that matches singles based on their credit history. Most of the reactions I have heard to this article seem to be of surprise, disgust, or incredulity. I have seen a lot more criticism than acceptance of the idea that a potential romantic partner’s credit score should be of any importance, after all where is the romance in FICO?

Let’s discuss this idea. Imagine if you have worked your entire adult life to save money, build credit through responsible credit card usage and diversified manageable debt. You have always paid all of your bills on time, and you never spend more than you can afford. Then you meet someone who you hit it off with. Maybe they are as responsible with their finances as you are, maybe they have had a financial hardship, or maybe they are hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. When do you talk about your finances with this person? On the third date? When you move in together? Three years into marriage?

Personally, I think finances are a little too personal to discuss on the third date, but you should never move in with someone before you have had this talk, let alone marry someone whose financial history you have no knowledge of. I am not saying you need to run a credit report on someone, nor am I suggesting that people need to match financially in order to have a successful, loving relationship, however you should know how much debt your partner has, how they plan to repay it, what their savings look like, and how much they earn.

I know what you’re thinking, most of us are raised not to ask questions about other peoples’ money, and it can be incredibly difficult to break the ice when it comes to a money talk. When you are in a committed relationship with someone, you need to have a plan, and having a plan means you can both afford the life you have set out on, and if only one of you can afford that life, it needs to be discussed and agreed upon that the partner who is in a position to will pick up the slack of the partner who is unable to do so.

If you are at a complete loss at how to have the money talk with your partner, there is an easy way to do it – hire a financial planner to facilitate the discussion. Financial planners are well-versed in assisting couples and families in opening up about these necessary topics. We are here to help you realize your plan without judgement.