How to Protect Your Credit During Divorce
Facing a divorce is emotionally draining and stressful, without even factoring the impact it will have on each of your finances. It’s time to start worrying about yourself and your future by avoiding mistakes that will hurt your credit rating. Start taking action now to protect your score and ensure that you move on in a positive financial standing. The following tips will help you establish yourself as a responsible individual, regardless of any mistakes your former spouse may make on their own behalf.
Open Individual Accounts
While you’re still legally married, take out a personal credit card in your name. If you have a credit record established in your own name then there is a much smaller risk of damaging your rating once the divorce is finalized. This also works for household bills if you do not want to deal with a credit card. Keep up with payments and you’ll be able to avoid any financial issues of trying to start an account after the divorce. If you already own any individual accounts, be sure to update security information to prevent your ex from gaining unwanted access.
Get Your Credit Report
You need to know exactly what information is contained in your personal credit report. Knowledge of certain changes that can occur is an advantage you need to avoid damaging your score with missed payments. Always plan ahead to ensure that your post-divorce budget allows you to stay on top of payments.
Close Joint Accounts
Set your differences aside to protect both of your futures by cancelling any accounts you hold together. Allowing them to remain open after the divorce will inevitably hurt your score as your ex’s credit history will still be associated with yours.
Sell Joint Property
Unless one of you intends to remain in control of the home and any other property you shared during the marriage, it’s a smart idea to sell it off. You can split the profits and have the obligation of owning joint assets cleared. If one of you wants ownership, the title needs to be transferred into the name of the responsible party so that you both do not suffer if there are any financial missteps.
Eliminate the chance to end up in a dispute with your former spouse or a creditor by keeping a concise documentation of all transactions and agreements. Written records help to keep track of the changes you make so that it’s easy to move on without any unnecessary complications.
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