Online daters are more interested in someone who’s financially responsible than funny or attractive. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com.

It’s rare for singles to brag about their credit scores on dating sites, but a new survey suggests that maybe they should.

Having a good credit score can be more important to prospective dates than your looks, according to a survey by Discover and Match Media Group.

Oh, wait — sorry. Looking at the survey, that’s not actually what it found.

The survey found that most people think having a good credit score could make someone more attractive than if they just had a nice car.

Got it! Thanks to Uber and Lyft — not to mention the difficulty of finding a parking place in hipster locales like New York, San Francisco and Seattle — many urban dwellers don’t even own a car these days.

You might even demote a prospective partner for owning a nice car, whether it be a Porsche or just a Mazda 3. Owning a car might signify that they’re a little out of step with the times, or uncaring about the planet. Even if their would-be love interest is driving a hybrid, some people might rather be seen with someone who rides a bicycle or a skateboard.

But what’s so attractive about having a good credit score?

Just because someone has a good credit score probably doesn’t mean you should assume they are outgoing, attractive, or fun, those who took the survey said. But a good credit score probably means you are responsible, trustworthy and smart, online daters said.

Characteristics of a person with good credit score

Characteristics of people with good credit scores

Percentage of respondents identifying each characteristic when asked, “If all you knew about a person before you went on a date with them was that they had a good credit score, what would you assume them to be like?” Source: Survey by C+R Research on behalf of Discover and Match Media Group.

While those might be highly desirable qualities in an employer-employee relationship, how well does that describe the person you want to date?

Very well, according to 2,000 U.S. consumers ages 18 and older surveyed by C+R Research on behalf of Discover and Match Media Group — the folks behind Match.com, OkCupid, Tinder, Meetic, and PlentyOfFish. All of those surveyed were either active on an online dating site, or had met their partner on one.

The most important qualities in a prospective match? That they be honest, reliable, and responsible. More respondents said it was “very” or “extremely important” for a prospective date to be “financially responsible” than funny or attractive.

Important qualities when looking for a person to date

Most important qualities of prospective match.

Percentage of respondents identifying each characteristic when asked, “How important [are/were] each of the following qualities when looking for a person to date?”

If you think of yourself as courageous, modest, or “engaged in the community,” sorry. Most people frequenting dating sites aren’t really looking for that.

“When it comes to dating, a good credit score ups your mate value, helping you win a responsible, long-term partner, more so than some other qualities that online daters might highlight on their profile,” said Helen Fisher, Match.com’s “chief scientific advisor.”

Half of those surveyed said having a good credit score was more attractive than having good taste in music (the survey did not reveal whether people who felt this way had any taste in music themselves).

Credit score does not outrank ‘physically fit body’

There are some factors that clearly trump credit score. Sixty percent of those surveyed said that if someone’s got a good credit score, that’s not as attractive than if they have a “physically fit body.”

While it seems obvious that any picture of yourself that you upload should represent your physical attributes in the possible light, only 6 percent of those surveyed had shared their credit score on a dating site.

While it’s fairly common to make your employment status known — 60 percent have done so — it doesn’t occur to people very often to post more intimate details like their income (15 percent), retirement plans (7 percent), or how much money they owe (5 percent).

If posting a credit score might seem a little too revealing for some, others may find it flattering. Although 34 percent of those surveyed had subprime credit scores and another 12 percent had “thin” or no credit files, 54 percent were classified as “prime.”

So not only could quite a few credit-worthy singles be missing out on the chance to land a first date, they are losing an opportunity to fill any awkward moments of silence that could arise with some sweet talk about fiscal responsibility.

“Regardless of your credit score, one of the keys to improving your credit health is simply being aware of your score,” said Kate Manfred, Discover’s vice president of brand and consumer insights. “That knowledge can set you on the path toward improving or maintaining your score. Plus, it can spark an interesting — and important — conversation on a date.”


Matt Carter is the editor of Credible News, which provides information that consumers need to make decisions about student loans and personal finance. We welcome comments and tips. Email: mcarter@credible.com