Your date won't talk about finances, and the last time you went out to eat your date's credit card was denied. Should you be worried? Maybe. Here are five signs your date is hiding financial woes from you.
Your date reaches for the check at the end of your meal, but the waiter returns with embarrassing news: the credit card provided has been declined. Is this a sign your date has financial problems? Maybe. It's important for couples to talk about their finances as a relationship progresses. It is equally important to look for indicators that your partner is keeping money secrets from you. "This is your financial future on the line, too," says Bruce McClary, vice president of public relations for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. "If your spouse has a bad credit score, you might struggle to qualify for a loan in the future if you decide to apply for one together. Your spouse's bad credit might keep you from qualifying for a mortgage." While clues might indicate your partner is struggling financially, be careful not to jump to conclusions. "There are signs, but it can be very difficult to decipher them," says Armando Roman, wealth manager with AXIOM Financial Advisory Group. "People who are financially stable can have some of the exact same habits of people in the opposite camp, those who are financially unstable." The best advice? Look for these five warning signs of financial trouble: 1. The denied credit card There are few things as embarrassing as having your credit card denied. If it happens to your date, you are right to be wary. This situation may be a result of money mismanagement: exceeding the credit limit or late payments -- both financially irresponsible. Credit card debt can be one of the worst financial traps to fall in to. Credit card debt comes with high interest rates -- as high as 19 percent in some cases -- and can take a long time to pay off. 2. A debit card but no credit card Roman also suggests looking at how your partner pays for items -- are they only using debit cards to make purchases? That's not necessarily bad, unless it's a sign that your significant other's finances are so bad they can't qualify for a credit card. "A debit card is available to people who don't even qualify for a credit card," Roman says. "Maybe the person you are dating is using a debit card because that's the only option available."