How Long Will Your Relationship Last? Ask the Federal Reserve
Do you know your credit score? Do you want to find everlasting love?
If you answered "no" and "yes" just now, then you might want to give the Fair Isaac Corporation a call. According to new research from the Federal Reserve Board, your credit score doesn't just have the power to get your mortgage approved — it also has the power to predict whether you'll have a long-lasting relationship, or whether you'll end up sharing a bed with your five cats, who are all named after the Bennett sisters from Pride and Prejudice.
Credit scores: the Miss Cleo of 2015.
While you probably wouldn't naturally associate your love life with the boring-ass subject of credit monitoring, the Federal Reserve Board is here to tell you that if you wanna be somebody and go somewhere in your relationship, you better wake up and pay attention to your score. The official findings are published in a paper on the Fed's website, and the results indicate a strong correlation between shared high credit scores between partners and long-term relationship success.
"With the growing importance of household credit, credit scores have become a prominent characteristic of individuals that extends to areas outside the household finance sector," authors Jane Dokko, Geng Li, and Jessica Hayes wrote.
The authors concluded that "individuals in committed relationships have credit scores that are highly correlated with their partners' scores. Their credit scores tend to further converge with their partners', particularly among those in longer-lasting relationships."
And what if one partner's score is significantly worse than the other's — as is likely the case in "mixed-collar" relationships? Unfortunately, having disparate credit scores doesn't bode super well for your relationship: "We find the initial match quality of credit scores is strongly predictive of relationship outcomes in that couples with larger score gaps at the beginning of their relationship are more likely to subsequently separate," the researchers wrote, adding that partners with differing credit scores are "more likely to break up for observable reasons pertaining to finance and household spending."
This is great news for the few of us who manage to have their shit totally together in their twenties. But what about the rest of us? After all, our credit scores are notoriously low, with most millennials averaging a meager 625 out of a possible 850. (For the record, a good credit score is usually considered anything 700 or above.)
The prognosis is not good, according to the study: Low credit scores appeared to be clear indicators of subsequent relationship failure, as couples with an average credit score of 450 or less were found to be twice as likely to break up within four years than a couple with an average score of 750.
But before you start texting everyone you know, "FML, BRB, dying alone," remember these (slightly altered) words from the wise Aaliyah: "Credit ain't nothing but a number." Then hurry up and put all your bills on the automatic payment plan. Just in case.