ABC News, March 20, 2009

Recession Has Some Daters Checking Credit Scores by ABC News

WASHINGTON – The recession has some singles being more careful about who they date. A recent survey shows more than 80 percent of singles are being more selective because they don’t want to get involved with someone who needs their own bailout.

Money may be all the talk these days but at a speed-dating event in D.C., singles say they’re not bringing it up — yet.

“Money thing, that’s serious stuff. I’ll worry about that later,” said one participant.

But concerns about job security and financial stability are close to the surface.

“I know a lot of my friends, their financial situations are difficult right now,” added another participant.

In addition to their own tight finances, many worry about a potential date’s money troubles.

“I met a few female lawyers who told me that they had extreme — like $240,000 — debt and yes, that would be an impediment,” said Mel Hutson.

Finance guru Suze Orman shared her advice about that with Oprah and guests.

“Before you get involved in a relationship or anything, FICO first, then sex,” she said, producing laughter in the audience. “That’s a new dating question,” replied Oprah, “‘What’s your FICO score?'”

For many, one’s credit score is a touchy subject. But it’s not taboo at, where singles weed out low-credit score holders.

But Michael Karlan, founder of the Professionals in the City dating service, says those restrictions are a double-edged sword.

“What the credit score dating site does is get you people that are pre-selected,” he said. “So within that group, you can find somebody that you’re hopefully attracted to and that you already know that they’re pre-selected so it helps in that regard. But it still doesn’t avoid that situation that you have to find the person that you’re attracted to in the first place.”

If not specifically dating by credit score, 84 percent of singles admitted in a survey they are at least more selective about who they date in a down economy. And online dating Web sites are reporting a surge in business, because many singles say it’s cheaper to find a date online then heading out to the bar and restaurant scene.