Credit After Divorce – Managing Things After This Hard Time
When you get divorced, the person you thought was “the one” might not be the only thing you lose – your credit score could also suffer! Yes, financial problems have the potential to crop up during a divorce, especially if you’ve co-signed loans with your soon-to-be ex. Divorces can be messy enough, but yes, they can take a toll on your credit too!
With that being said, here’s a look at some ways to manage your FICO score through divorce, so you’re not stuck in a lengthy credit repair plan later:
- Close or refinance all shared accounts: During a split, courts will divide shared debt through what’s called a divorce decree. But what the courts and lawyers won’t tell you is that these decrees don’t eliminate shared responsibility. For instance, if your ex is tasked with paying the auto loan and misses a payment – the late payment will show up late on your credit report too, hurting your score and staying with you for years! So along the lines of a credit tip, don’t take any chances and refinance any loans that were previously shared if you’re able to.
- Cooperate with your ex: While you’re divorcing for one reason, it’s important to work with your ex on your finances for the sake of not having to repair credit down the line. Hence, along the lines of our first bullet point – not every loan can be refinanced quickly. So for loans that can’t, be sure that you strike a truce with your ex to ensure that payments are made. If they’re not they hurt both of your credit scores. Online accounts and automatic payments are ways to make this easier.
- Credit monitoring: Divorces can get messy, and there’s no telling what your ex might do to your credit score as a means of revenge if they know of your social security number and financial details. That’s why signing on to a credit monitoring service is a good idea – it’ll immediately make you aware of any changes to your credit data, potentially permitting you to avoid implementing a big debt management plan later for the damages incurred.