Relationships are a lot like doing business in that they require a considerable amount of time, commitment and good credit to succeed. Nowadays individual credit scores determine virtually everything, including employment status, car insurance rates and if a person is eligible to get a bank loan to start a home. Whether you’re in business or in love, your partner has to be able to pull his or her weight if you plan on having an emotionally and financially secure partnership—platonically or romantically. So before you make your next relationship official, be sure you look out for these seven warning signs that the person you’re dating is potentially a bad investment. —Souleo
Your partner’s cell phone provider gives it up too easily: In the contemporary digital world virtually everyone has a cell phone but not all cell phone providers are created equal. “It’s a little know secret that certain cell phone companies require a huge deposit if you have poor credit,” says financial expert, Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche. “As a result, those with bad credit are often forced to sign-up with providers that have lower standards because they make allowances for customers with a poor credit score.” According to Aliche, such red flag providers include Sprint, AT&T, Metro PCS and prepaid services. While just having an account with any of these companies doesn’t automatically mean someone has bad credit, it’s worth consideration before adding anyone to your friends and family plan.
Your partner complains about their car insurance rates: While your date may try to impress you with the brand name of his/her car, it’s their insurance rates that will give you a better sense of their financial standing. “The majority of auto insurance companies use your credit score when determining your rates,” says Aliche. “So if your date is complaining of extra high car insurance, that may be a red flag of a poor credit score.” In that case you may want to think twice about riding shotgun before your partner takes you down a path of financial ruin.
Your partner is a “bank bandit”: If the person you’re dating prefers to cash their checks and/or doesn’t utilize a bank account you may be dealing with what Aliche labels a “bank bandit.” “Some people are bank bandits and run from it ‘cause they owe overdraft fees or have judgments that will get deducted from their bank deposits,” she explains. “This may be a sign that someone is not very responsible with their finances.”
1.5 billion credit cards in use in the United States. If your partner is one of those without a credit card and/or who prefers to use their debit card as credit then you may want to seriously investigate why. “In these days and times pulling from a checking account with all of the identity theft issues is not a smart thing to do,” says Lockard. “Plus, so many credit cards offer rewards, benefits and they help you establish credit to move forward in life. It makes no sense not to have a credit card.” While some may just be wary of falling into the credit card trap, there are those that have no choice in the matter because they have a low credit rating and his or her applications are rejected.
Your partner is a credit fugitive…but there may be hope: The phone rings constantly throughout the day and early evening and your partner refuses to answer. Or worse, you’re constantly meeting your partner somewhere new because they frequently have a new residence. While financial expert, Harrine Freeman notes such warning signals, she says before rushing to judgment one should attempt to have an open and honest conversation about credit. “In 2010, FICO Inc. showed that 25.5% of consumers—about 43.4 million people—have a credit score of 599 or below,” she states. “Many people have bad credit so don’t jump to conclusions. Find out the whole story before making decision if you want to continue dating them.”