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Don't Let Your Credit Score Be A Casualty Of Your Divorce

Divorce can be an emotional and financial whirlwhind. While you're paying legal fees and dividing assets and establishing custody and support guidelines for your children, one thing that may not be at the front of your mind is your credit score. But your credit can take a hit during a divorce, just like the rest of your finances. Here are some ways you can protect your credit as you work to move into the next phase of life.

  • Take stock of all your credit, individual and joint. Make sure you know which cards you have that are joint, which are individual, and which individual cards list your spouse as an authorized user. If you're not the one who normally made credit card payments, you might not even be aware of the full scope of what you owe.
  • Make regular payments on existing accounts. If your spouse fails to make payments on a joint account, your own credit score will suffer the consequences. Make sure you and your soon-to-be ex keep up on payments while you still have joint accounts.
  • Close joint accounts. This goes for both joint accounts and individual accounts where your spouse may have been listed as an authorized user. When a divorce becomes bitter, it's not unheard of for one spouse to run up a credit card where he or she is listed as an authorized user, but is not ultimately responsible for paying the debt.
  • Open a credit account with your own name. After closing the joint accounts, consider opening one of your accounts so that you can start building your credit and income status. This will help you work on improving your credit scores by the way you handle your loans.
  • Try not to pay for divorce-related costs with a card. While it's true that divorce can be expensive, where possible, try not to shift the expenses of your divorce to a credit card. This will only run up your balance and subject you to potentially high interest payments.
  • Change your pin numbers and passwords. This is to ensure your spouse does not have access to your financial accounts going forward. Choose pin numbers and passwords that your ex-spouse cannot easily guess. If you have already separated and you have moved out, update your address to protect your privacy and ensure that credit reports and bank account statements can get to you directly.

Your credit score is crucial for your financial stability. Don't let an oversight during this crucial time compromise your future. An experienced family law attorney can help you navigate the financial aspects of divorce.

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The Law Offices of Gruccio, Pepper, DeSanto & Ruth, P.A.
817 East Landis Avenue
Vineland, New Jersey 08360

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Gruccio, Pepper, DeSanto & Ruth, PA