This past summer I had a revelation while strolling along the picture-perfect beaches of Costa Rica and reveling in a fiery red sunset to complete another sun-soaked day in paradise. There I was, minding my own business and pondering upon the nature of true love, when the last lingering ray of light from the fading embers of the sun struck me in the eyes, and the heavens were opened up to me. In my temporary blindness I saw through the light into the meaning of true love. The answer wasn’t in the allure of beauty, which is only skin deep, or a charismatic personality that is only as stable as the next mood swing. It turns out those traits are secondary to one eternal truth. True love is a 750 credit score.
When I think of all the time I’ve wasted lamenting over failed past relationships and wondering what I could have done differently in my search for the perfect partner, it’s humbling to realize the missing ingredient was as simple as a credit check. This is not to say that my strategy of initially pursuing a woman based purely on looks was shortsighted or shallow. However, much like anything fueled by liquid courage, the buzz of love will quickly melt away into a head-splitting hangover of shame without the jolt of a mutually magnetic personality. But even the rare and powerful combination of a physical and emotional attraction is no match for the binding super glue of love: a 750 credit score.
There is nothing worse than to be entrapped by your partner’s ethereal beauty and mesmerizing personality, only to find out after you pop the question that agreeing to love them forever also includes paying off thousands of dollars in debt. True love doesn’t want to start out in a deep financial hole, unable to secure a loan for anything better than some dilapidated tin shack. True love wants to be approved for at least a mid-range house in the suburbs at the lowest possible fixed mortgage rate.
The revelation of romance I received on the beach that day clarified what was missing from my recipe for finding true love, but much like any spiritual experience, I was shown the door, but I still had to walk through it. Chasing beauty and matching up personalities is child’s play compared to trying to figure out how high a credit score my date for the evening has. Since I don’t have the National Security Administration in my back pocket, I have been forced to develop a three-step strategy to finding out my potential partner’s credit score without being too obvious. Within the first several dates I ask a few simple finding questions like, “That’s great car you have, did you get a three or five-year loan on that?” or “I’m sure glad my job covers tuition reimbursement. Does your work cover reimbursement, or did you go the student loan route?” When worked naturally into a conversation, the answers to those questions can give a glimpse into their financial liability.
The second step in the process occurs within the first few months of dating and involves surfing the web together and randomly coming across a link for a website offering a free credit score followed by a suggestion that it would be a bonding experience to try it out together. The final step of the process involves hiring a private investigator to do a background check on the love of your life. While it may seem a bit invasive, it’s really a small price to pay before investing money in an engagement ring. Finding that perfect trifecta of beauty, personality and a 750 credit score is worth all the effort and financial snooping that goes into experiencing true love. I have no doubt that the next time I’m soaking in a romantic sunset on the beaches of Costa Rica, it will be with the love of my life whose perfect beauty is matched only by her perfect credit score. And as for personality, I really don’t care. I’m not that picky.