Why Your Credit Report is Like A Financial Dating App

Posted by Jamie Mackenzie Smith in Credit Reports on 5 December 2018

We’ve spoken in the past about the link between a higher credit score and your romantic prospects, but the two topics might be even closer together than you think. That’s thanks to an emerging trend of dating apps that put a greater emphasis on your dating history in order to help potential future dates better assess whether you’re what they are looking for.

If the idea of using past experiences to try and predict future behaviour sounds familiar, that’s because it’s exactly what lenders do when they calculate your Credit Score.

How does it work?

Apps like Pair, Do I Date and Once bring the user rating approach to online dating, meaning your likelihood of meeting up with other users is going to be based at least in part on what other people have said about having been on a date with you in the past.

Dress well, tidy yourself up a bit and keep your opinions about Brexit to yourself and you’ll probably earn a positive rating. Turn up in an instant noodle-stained t-shirt, hair looking decidedly off-fleek and bring every conversation back to the 1981 Fisheries Act and… well, you get the idea.

The idea of algorithmically matching users together is nothing new, but rather than asking users to answer a seemingly endless series of questions about whether they’re a dog or a cat person, their pasta shape preference, or if they’d ever consider dating someone that irons their jeans, the score is based on experiences they’ve had with other users on the site.

This seems like a pretty innovative way of matching people, but in the world of Credit Reporting this is how it’s always been done, with your Credit Rating largely being attributed to lenders sharing details of their experience with you (both positive and negative) for other potential ‘matches’ to see.

In simple terms, making sure you pay all your credit agreements in full and on time while being registered on the Electoral Roll is the credit equivalent of choosing a good restaurant, being a good conversationalist and being modern enough to split the bill – you’ll be more likely to be appeal to other lenders/daters in the future.

What are the effects of a good or poor rating?

A string of five-star date ratings means that other users might feel safer or more open to the prospect of meeting you, whereas a low rating (or no rating at all) and people might take a bit more convincing before they’ll meet with you.

Having a low score doesn’t automatically mean you’re out of luck though - what turns off some people might work for someone else, and while not all people will share the same wants and needs, there’s almost certainly someone out there that’s a perfect match. Some people might be specifically looking for someone that dresses down, is a bit shy and feels the need to pick up the tab

It’s exactly the same way with credit applications: just because you’ve been turned down by one lender doesn’t mean you’ll have no luck elsewhere. Each lender has their own scoring criteria and is looking for something different in a borrower, and it could be the case that even if you’ve got a few late payments littered across your Credit History, you’re still going to appeal to some.

How can I improve my chances?

To improve your chances either with lenders or on dating apps in the future, what you do now will go a long way to ensuring long terms success.

When it comes to dating, it might be best to just be yourself if you’re looking for a long-term relationship but a few polishes here and there can’t hurt in terms of putting yourself in the best possible light.

When it comes to your Credit Rating, there are always steps you can take to make yourself more appealing to potential lenders. The exact action you might need to take will depend on what’s held about you – and the only way to know that is to check your Credit Report for yourself.

If you haven’t already, you can try checkmyfile free for 30 days and see your Credit Report based on data from all four UK Credit Reference Agencies. After the trial, it’s £14.99 a month.

The moral of the story is if you want to prosper in credit or in love, your actions past and present will go a long way towards ensuring a long and happy relationship in the future.

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