Now, many consider the credit report and its spawn (there are currently between 80 and 100 scoring models) as an indication of a person's money management skills. I'm not so sure. So much mayhem can happen beyond our knowledge or control: Universal downsizing leading to unfair lay-offs in a lousy economy (sound familiar?), the sudden death of a breadwinner, an unexpected illness leading to gargantuan medical bills that sit on our shoulders like unwanted pigeons on a statue.
Rather than viewing a credit profile as manifestation of one's ability to manage money, I prefer to think of it as a self-awareness tool, and self-awareness is an attractive quality. So how self-aware are you when it comes to your credit? Ask yourself these seven questions:
A wise mate is less concerned about the particulars of your credit portfolio and more concerned with your level of self-awareness. If a partner doesn't care enough to protect his or her financial life and won't stand up for him or herself, how can they be counted upon? Isn't that one of the pillars of any relationship: That this person whom I love, and who hopefully loves me, will have my back forever?
It was only matter of time that credit would creep into our social lives, and now it's here. Fight it or embrace it. In all things romantic, I have learned there is little upside to fighting.
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Adam Levin is chairman and cofounder of Credit.com and Identity Theft 911. His experience as former director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs gives him unique insight into consumer privacy, legislation and financial advocacy. He is a nationally recognized expert on identity theft and credit.