How to Maintain Your Credit During a Divorce
In a divorce, people are often worried about things such as money and children. They may wonder where they will live. While these are all valid concerns, another thing you should think about is your credit score.
You probably have a mortgage and credit cards. You may have other joint accounts. When you end your marriage, you and your spouse are still responsible for these debts until the accounts are closed or the loans are refinanced and put in one person’s name only. While it may be tempting to just stop paying on these debts and assume that your spouse will take care of the payments, this can lead to missed payments, which can result in creditor harassment and decreased credit scores.
The best loan rates require a high credit score. Bad credit can make it difficult to buy a car or house after your divorce. Therefore, maintaining your credit should be a high priority. Here are some steps you should take.
Communicate With Your Ex-Spouse
While you may want nothing to do with your ex, avoiding all communication will not be helpful when it comes to making sure the bills are paid. Who is paying the credit card bill this month? Are you selling the marital home or is your ex-spouse refinancing it? Make sure you are both on the same page so you can avoid miscommunication and missed payments.
Close Joint Accounts
Joint credit cards should be closed to avoid further charges. Continue to make monthly payments until the debt is paid off. Make sure to stay current or else both you and your spouse’s credit scores will be affected.
Understand What Your Divorce Decree Can Do
Many people think that they no longer have to pay a debt once their divorce is finalized. This is not true at all. While a divorce decree can specify which person is in charge of a certain bill, it does not make a contract with a lender null and void. The credit card company does not care that you are now divorced. They do not have to change your contact and write off your debt. If you are unwilling to continue making your monthly payments, your credit score will suffer.
Check for Errors
Mistakes do happen, so be sure to check your credit report at least once a year. Someone may have opened credit in your name without your consent. You may have incorrect missed payments. These mistakes can negatively impact your credit, so it’s best to get them corrected as soon as possible. You can access your credit report once a year for free at annualcreditreport.com.
Seek Legal Help
A divorce is a complicated event that can be highly emotional. Finances are involved, but many people do not think about their credit score during this time.
Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney Edward J. Jennings, P.A. can help you handle your finances during a divorce. Get the help you need to maintain your credit score. Fill out the online form or call 954-764-4330 to schedule a consultation.