Credit and Marriageable Qualities

Free Credit Report.com has one of the most memorable television jingles today. One commercial goes so far as to demonstrate that the singer married the wrong woman because of her financial irresponsibility. In his song he reveals that her bankruptcy and bad credit has him stuck in a trashy one room basement apartment with her dependent little brother and no credit opportunities. Gee, if he had just checked her credit report before he married her.
For many single adults, their financial personal responsibility makes them more or less marriageable. Not every marriageable individual has endured bankruptcy and poor credit scores, but high levels of debt can be a viable focus of marriageability. In light of tens of thousands of dollars in educational debt incurred by students investing in their professional futures, marriage gets postponed.

Surveys on marital status and debt reveal two things very clearly: 1) educational debt causes couples to put off marriage (often opting for cohabitation instead); and 2) high debt is an indicator that may show financial irresponsibility when choosing a future spouse. (For a legal analysis of how cohabitation actually sabotages a good marriage see Lynne Marie Kohm and Karen M. Groen, Cohabitation and the Renaissance of Marriage, 17 Regent U. L. Rev. 261 (2005); also cited in Lynn D. Wardle, What is Marriage? 6 Whittier J. Child & Fam. Advoc. 53 (Fall 2006).

What is the key to solving this dilemma between money and future marriage? The answer lies in personal responsibility that manifests itself in good financial decisions, good professional decisions, and good personal decisions. Expectations should match risk in educational debt as a professional investment. Personal, professional and financial all join in any educational decision. For more on what type of income to expect in the legal profession and the importance of weighing the financial risks with the financial benefits see Professor Michael Schutt’s opening blog of the Regent Law Faculty blog (http://regentlawfaculty.blogspot.com/).

So what’s a single person to do who wants to cultivate his or her marriageability? Cultivate personal responsibility in every area of your life – personally, spiritually, professionally, financially – and look for those qualities in any one you might consider as a marriage partner. The character of the individual is the basis of the character of your future marriage. And that might just be revealed in his or her credit report… (oh no, I can hear the jingle now – please, not again!).

No comments:

Post a Comment