NEW YORK (MainStreet) As young and impressionable youths with a "Full House" obsession, many women of my generation would have described Uncle Jesse as a dreamboat. Who knows if it was the leather vest, the overuse of hair products or the band named after himself, but Jesse set our hearts aflutter. Yet now that we've grown up, Jesse my not be the show's leading hunk. The adult versions of ourselves would swoon over responsible dad, Danny Tanner at least according to the results of a recent survey by freecreditscore.com.
Budgets Are Sexier Than Career Ambition
The surveyed polled 1,000 adults aged 30 to 49 on their dating habits with the goal of "better understanding the correlation between credit, finances and relationships," according to Ken Chaplin, senior vice president of freecreditscore.com. The results were surprising, even to Chaplin, in respondents' preferences for financial responsibility over physical attractiveness.
For example, when asked what was most attractive in a potential partner, 96% of women said financial responsibility was a more important quality than career ambition or even looks.
And it isn't just how you view money; how you manage it really makes women swoon. When polled on the two top financial attributes women were looking for, 95% chose "is financially responsible" and 92% went for "pays bills on time."
On the other hand, when it comes to the least attractive financial habits, men and women tend to agree. Collectively, 88% of men and women surveyed view spending beyond your means as the least attractive quality, while 52% see carrying debt as a total turn off.
Credit Scores Matter
Chaplin says, "No matter your gender, it's important to check your credit on a regular basis," but if you're dating, those three numbers might determine whether things blossom into a relationship. According to the study, "women are more likely to factor credit scores into their dating decisions." When polled, 75% of women said credit scores were significantly important while only 57 percent of men agreed.
As far as being able to keep your credit history out of conversation, it may be a coin toss. Of everyone polled, 48% said they discussed credit scores with romantic partners. Of those that do, 39% bring the topic up in the first year of a relationship.
What the Future Holds
When it comes to finding a long-term partner, both sexes worry about financial responsibility and their mates' credit history. When asked why lower credit scores are cause for alarm, 76% of women and 61% of men feared a couple would have trouble securing a mortgage to buy a house. When the time comes to co-manage finances, 59% of women and 48% of men worried managing a joint checking account would be a problem if one partner had lower credit scores.
Interest rates are also a concern for 56% of women and 48% of men. And getting a good deal on a car loan is a worry for 47% of women and 37% of men.
But the truly surprising: how a couple manages finances together is a key indicator in how long the relationship will last for women. Of the 500 women who responded to the survey, 96% said financial compatibility is as equally important as sex and intimacy when considering a long-term relationship.
So guys, it may be time to trade the leather vest and hair care products for a copy of your credit reports and budgeting spreadsheets. This study says that sex appeal still has a lot to do with intimacy, but your looks don't mean much if you aren't financially responsible to boot. Sorry Uncle Jesse, but you're not what we're after anymore.
--Written by Angela Colley for MainStreet