Survey: Does Credit Compatibility Predict a Successful Marriage?

New data from Credit.com reveals that couples with similar credit scores are more likely to stay married, but divorced individuals may be happier with their finances in general.

San Francisco, CA | February 11, 2014

In a new survey that looks at how married and divorced people deal with and credit and debt, Credit.com found that almost half – 51% – of currently married couples reported their credit scores to be about the same as their partners, while only 26% of divorced couples said the same when referring to their scores during the time they were married. Beyond that, 81% of married survey respondents who said they had similar credit scores to their spouse reported they were very satisfied (52%) or somewhat satisfied (29%) with how they were managing their credit and finances.  They also tended to manage their credit and debt cooperatively with their spouse (61%) vs. divorced people when they were married (34%).

More important takeaways from the 2014 Marriage, Divorce & Credit Survey:

Respondents are fairly evenly split on whether their credit scores improve or get worse after divorce.

  • 30% of divorced respondents say their scores are significantly better after their divorce
  • 31% say that their scores got worse
  • 16% say their scores are somewhat better
  • 23% say that they don’t know

For divorced individuals, credit and debt usage grew during marriage (comparing prior-to-marriage vs. post-divorce debt levels).

  • Those with credit card balances increased from 53% to 70%
  • Those with mortgages increased from 32% to 54%
  • Those with auto loans increased from 38% to 46%
  • Those with student loans increased from 24% to 31%
  • Those with medical debt increased from 7% to 27%

It can take a long time to separate finances after a divorce.

  • 6% say it took more than 3 years
  • 14% say it took between 1-3 years
  • 15% say it took between 6-12 months
  • The remainder say it took less than 6 months

Many regret not talking about credit and finances before marriage.

  • 28% of divorcees regret not discussing credit and financial goals before getting married vs. 10% of currently married people.
  • 56% of divorcees say that money contributed to their divorce.
  • 40% of married say that credit / debt issues cause stress in their marriage.

About the Survey
Credit.com’s Marriage, Divorce & Credit Survey was based on data collected from 1,061 U.S. consumers, aged 18+, using SurveyMonkey Audience, over the period Jan. 31 – Feb. 2, 2014. Information on how respondents were recruited can be found here.

About Credit.com
Credit.com is a trusted source of financial information for consumers. Founded in 1994, and run by leading credit & money experts, Credit.com offers the latest news, advice, and free, easy-to-use tools to help consumers gain valuable insight, save money and make smarter financial decisions. Its flagship product, the free Credit Report Card, has been recognized as an innovative consumer finance tool by CNN, Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and others.

To learn more about Credit.com’s Marriage, Divorce & Credit Survey, or other issues related to credit, debt and personal finance in general, please contact Michael Schreiber at michael(at)credit(dot)com.

*The Marriage, Divorce & Credit Survey was conducted among 1,061 adults online Jan 31 – Feb. 2 on behalf of Credit.com.

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