Your credit score may impact your social life as much as your spending habits. It may also determine whether or not your marriage will be successful.
A new survey from Bankrate finds that nearly 40 percent of adults believe knowing someone's credit score would affect their willingness to date the person. This matters especially for women: 43 percent says the score would have either a major or minor impact on their romantic interest, compared to just 32 percent of men.
Even so, the study found that as many as 34 percent of Americans have never even checked their credit reports. Princeton Survey Research Associates conducted the research in April, polling 1,000 adults.
What's more, newlyweds are generally unaware of their spouse's financial situation, according a subsequent study from Experian. The information services company polled 1,000 newlywed adults in February. Nearly half (40 percent) of respondents said they didn't know their partner's credit score before tying the knot. On average, respondents said they would spend more than $800 without telling their spouse (and more men admitted to hiding accounts than women did).
Beyond credit, many newlyweds said they were unaware of their spouse's annual income (25 percent), long-term financial goals (31 percent), and student loan debt (31 percent).
"Credit impacts many aspects of building a life together," said Rod Griffin, Experian's director of public education. "Couples should check their credit reports and scores and discuss them. Knowing these scores will help couples better plan for a future together and give them the opportunity to take steps to better manage their credit."
The good news is that obtaining a higher credit limit can positively impact your credit score -- and nearly 80 percent of those who ask for a boost get approved, according to Bankrate.
"A higher credit limit isn't just so you can buy more stuff, it can actually help your credit score," said Mike Cetera, the company's personal loans and credit analyst. "That's because your credit utilization ratio -- how much credit you're using divided by how much credit you have available -- is a key component of your score."