When a man sits down and thinks about the woman he’s dating and if he wants to move on to marriage, there are several things that go through his mind. I wouldn’t say that a woman’s finances are one of the first things that come to mind but it can quickly become the elephant in the room if the matter is out of order. That being said, I also wouldn’t recommend a man get too into the details of her finances either because the process of marriage will do that on its own. I personally have never asked a woman for her credit score or an exact amount of her debt. I have noticed the way she handles her finances, though. Does she pay her bills on time? Does she avoid phone calls from certain numbers? Does she have a twitch in her eye when she hears the words Sallie Mae? Those are the things that I pay attention to early on in the relationship so that they don’t become the elephant in the room later. Taking a step back, to the people who tend to think that it’s acceptable to dive into someone’s finances when they’re assessing if they can date them or not, that a bit off. People are more than welcome to approach dating however they see fit but they should know they will turn some people away with their behavior. It’s okay to ask someone you’re marrying about their finances but dating — that’s just invasive. And yet people feel like they have a right to know but to be honest, you just have a desire to know. It’s a desire that is personal in nature and really doesn’t have any indication on whether you will continue to date them or not. You can certainly date someone with bad credit or debt; it doesn’t affect you. I encourage people to keep in mind that we’re currently in a financial crisis in this country. You’ll meet more people who have college loan debt than you will people without it. You’re going to meet people who have made bad financial decisions (we all have done it at some point in some regard) and you’re going to meet people who’ve struggled financially. I would go as far as saying that you’ll meet people who may have gone bankrupt or even foreclosed on a home. This is an indication of the times that we live in and I don’t think those people should have to walk around with a scarlet letter. What really matters is what a person does when they face financial crises. Do they run away and avoid their problems or do they face them head on? Are they working to deal with their problems? If so, then you can likely deal with that and accept it. It also shows you the resilience that comes with working out a hardship. That’s a trait that goes a long way in a relationship because it shows you that when things aren’t easy, you’re with someone who can work through it with you. That’s the real thing you want to address and find in a partner. It’s not necessarily about their financial position or the amount of debt they have but how they handle tough issues in their life. Nobody wants to be broke but you can live without being rich. Anyone who is dating on the basis of how much income they will have in their household is not going to find true happiness. The couples who do it well don’t make finances an issue; they make it something that they can work through together. What they’re doing is their working through life together. It can be anything in the form of hardship that comes into a relationship. A person could have a perfect credit score but they can’t figure out how to keep their past from ruining their present. That could be more of a deal breaker than a sub-500 credit score.