Bad Credit Scores Happen To Good People, Study Says

Nice guys finish last when it comes to credit scores. Time reported on November 7, 2011, that a study in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that people who are cranky, selfish, rude or all-around disagreeable are likely to have better credit than people who are affable, friendly and otherwise pleasant company. Researchers from Louisiana State University, Texas Tech University and Northern Illinois University found a link between credit scores and consumers’ personalities by considering FICO scores and responses from participants to surveys regarding their personalities.

Jeremy Bernerth, lead researcher and professor at LSU, explained to Time that people striving to get along with everyone might be more likely to “bend to sales pressure to apply for store credit cards” or “more easily persuaded to make unwise financial decisions on behalf of financially irresponsible loved ones, like co-signing a loan or a credit card.” Less empathetic people, however, are less likely to loan money to a relative needing foreclosure help or fill out a credit card application just to please others.

“There’s strong research that shows that agreeableness can negatively affect career earnings potential,” Bernerth told Time. “Disagreeable people do tend to get ahead.” Focusing on moving up the corporate ladder not only makes jerks less likely to file a bankruptcy means test as part of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, but Time noted that it also translates into more income and a greater degree of financial stability, both traits typical of people with better credit.

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