Dear Dr. Yael:
I have read articles on these pages about the shidduch crisis and came across an article that I thought might be of interest. Entitled, “Looking for Love? Start with Credit Scores,” it appeared in the Wall Street Journal for Valentine’s Day. It was about a study done by researchers at the U.S. Federal Reserve.
“People who have higher credit scores are more likely to form committed relationships and stay with a partner longer,” said Jessica Hayes who estimated the connection between credit scores and committed relationships with two other researchers in the Fed’s consumer finance section.
The trio sifted through the credit histories of 12 million U.S. consumers, identified romantic partners and then tracked their unions and break-ups over a 15-year period. The records revealed that people with higher credit scores were more likely to commit to a relationship and, when they did, the relationship was more likely to last.
Even in our own community, I can imagine that this thought process is true of older singles. Younger singles often marry with little or no work history; they are either in school or studying in kollel. They are also generally supported by their parents, at least at the beginning.
However, older singles are usually established in a job or career and hopefully have savings and a credit. I can imagine that for an older single with good credit and financial stability, finding a match with someone with the same financial maturity would be towards the top of the list.
Just thought I would share.
Thank you for sharing these thoughts with us. Responsibility and commitment are huge factors in marital success, as is being realistic. So many singles go into marriage with very idealistic notions of how things will be – usually based on media portrayals and their own fantasies. It is important to remember that while marriage can and should be amazing, it also requires a great deal of hard work and compromise. Someone who is responsible, as you know, will be more likely to be willing to do the work; however, flexibility and a positive nature are also important qualities.
All of that being said, sometimes people get into a financial situation that is not of their making and can find themselves with a poor credit rating. This can happen as a result of a problem in a professional or family relationship. As always, there should never be one factor a person focuses on when it comes to looking for a spouse. It is important to see and understand the whole person.
Once you are married, the important things are responsibility and appreciation. Some people believe that marriage should be easy, and if it is not, then something is wrong. Staying focused on doing for each other and for the family is essential.
I hope your letter gives our readers more tools in their search for the right one and the tools to make their marriages successful.