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LEARNING CENTER: For Young Adults

How to discuss money with your date

people on a date

Should you ask someone their credit score on a date? There’s actually an online dating app that’s based on one’s credit score. Maybe it’s not a bad idea.

Apparently, members of the Millennial and Gen Z generations agree. With student loan debt at an all-time high, it’s understandable that young adults are more willing to discuss finances than previous generations — even on the first date.

According to a Bankrate survey, Millennials are nearly twice as likely to feel comfortable discussing money with a romantic partner — even sharing credit scores and exchanging stories about debt.

Young adults today are coping with the largest burden of student debt than any previous generation, plus stagnant wages and often limited support from parents who may have been hit hard by the recession. It’s no wonder money is on their mind — and an important consideration when choosing a partner.

If you’re a Millennial or Gen Z, what do you need to know about finances? Here are ways to determine if the person you’re dating has a responsible attitude when it comes to debt, credit and finances.

business woman on phone and laptop

Are they a responsible borrower?

When discussing where you went to school, it’s very common to bring up the subject of student loans and how you’re coping with debt. As they say, misery loves company. You each can share tips and resources that have worked for you. Create a bonding moment out something you both may be struggling with and learn a few tricks along the way.

couple being silly in house

Are they living within their means?

One way to cope with debt is to make sure you’re not taking on more. Perhaps after you’ve dated after a little while, you may feel safe to bring this topic up. This is something you may be able to subtly pick up in conversations along the way. This is a two way street, you must be open sharing your saving plan, goals, and debt situation. Being the first person to share can help your partner feel more at ease.

couple on cell phone

Do they know and understand their credit score?

Your credit score reveals how potential lenders see you. Did you know that traditional credit score models don’t take into account the fact that Millennials and Gen Z may have higher assets and income, but are reluctant to take on more debt due to their student loan burden, and so may reflect less credit history? A story in USA Today reported this last year.

A fun tip to share with your date: the VantageScore model assesses younger borrowers more fairly. Over 2.5 billion VantageScore credit scores were provided directly to consumers last year, and you — and your date — can get your free credit score at yourvantagescore.com/free.

gay couple kissing

Do they think about the future?

Your date may be surprised when you ask how they imagine their retirement, but this can be a great indicator of their financial mindset. If your date sports a flashy wardrobe but gives no thought to the future — or assumes they’ll be wealthy enough to retire at 50 with no current plan — they may not be thinking it through. See if they have similar retirement goals and outlook as you. Keep the conversation light and breezy. You’re just getting to know each other and it’s ok if they have a different financial mindset than you. You can only control your own actions.

Knowing how someone handles their finances can be an indicator of their maturity level and their character. Do they take responsibility for their obligations, or are they just winging it? How far you decide to commit to the relationship may largely depend on what you discover about their attitudes toward money.

Understanding your debt situation is the first step toward planning for the future.

For more information and helpful tips, check out the VantageScore podcast at vss.credit/itunes.

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