Monthly Archives: December 2012

FICO Scores Don’t Lie

You’re in love. He’s perfect. Likes the same things you do. You have fun together. You can stay up all night talking. The chemistry is unbelievable. Finally, a man who shares your values about life, work, children, family. You want to spend the rest of your life with him.

So now it’s time to talk about money, you know, beliefs, attitudes, expectations  and yes, FICO scores. You resist. How boring. Where do credit ratings fit into this picture of love? This is the conversation you really don’t want to have. But you have to have it.

Your score is 815. His is 682. FICO scores don’t lie. You’re a good credit risk and he’s not. His history with money is very different from yours…and so much of your shared future involves how you handle money.

Credit scores are a fast transparent look at how we conduct our money life. How much credit do we use? How much do we owe? How promptly do we repay our loans? How much do we repay at a time? How many late charges do we incur? What is our interest rate?

You know a lower FICO score equals a higher risk for lenders. That means higher interest rates for insurance, mortgages, credit lines. No, they don’t really know the man you love, and if they did, they’d know how perfect he is for you.

But maybe those lenders know something you don’t. They’ve seen millions of people raise their FICO score when they start paying attention to the details. Maybe it would be a good idea before you say “I Do” to have this man you love demonstrate to you that he can raise his score.

It may not be romantic, but it’s definitely intimate…and a lot safer.

Financial Intimacy – protecting your financial interests in marriage

There’s Nothing Romantic about Money

I met a financial advisor years ago who had the most seductively soothing bedside manner. He had been recommended by a friend who said this man was ‘really great working with widows’.

The advisor explained that it’s hard for women whose husband had managed the investments to understand how the market works. “Ultimately, it comes down to your peace of mind and the trust we establish in the relationship”, he said.

But given what I’d been through with my husband, clanging bells and caution lights flashed through my mind. The trust thing again – ‘Trust me honey’, ‘don’t worry about a thing darling’, ‘just relax and go shopping’, ‘I’ll take care of everything’.

I felt a faint tinge of romantic illusion still clinging to my liberated female psyche. How perfect  – someone to take care of everything so I can focus on living happily ever after.

But I know the real world doesn’t work that way. One thing I know for sure – there’s nothing romantic about money. Money isn’t about trust or being reassured that everything will be fine.

I believe in information, financial education, hard-headed realism, and planning for the worst. The worst, whatever that is, may never happen. But if it does, at least I’ll understand how it happened.

This particular advisor may relieve stress for many women who still live with illusions. I’m not one of them.