You’ve probably heard all the horror stories associated with divorce and finances — but let’s turn things around and take a positive approach today, instead.
It’s time to discuss how to keep your credit score from being adversely affected by your divorce. Take the following steps:
- Open a few credit cards in your own name before you close out your joint cards. Maintaining a solid debt-to-credit ratio can help you avoid damaged credit.
- Remove your spouse as an authorized user on any of your cards so that he or she can’t continue making charges.
- Any joint credit accounts that you can’t pay off right away should be put in inactive status so that no one can use them.
- Try to make an agreement with your spouse about which joint debts he or she will pay and get them paid off (if possible) before the divorce is final.
- If you or your spouse intends to keep the family home, get it refinanced solely in that person’s name.
- If you don’t think you will need access to new credit soon, ask for a freeze on your credit through the three main credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) so that no new accounts can be opened in your name.
- Sign up for a credit-monitoring service. That way, you can spot problems as soon as they manifest and stop any revenge attacks on your credit by your ex.
Naturally, the more your spouse is willing to work with you, the easier these tasks can be. If you expect your spouse to make things complicated, it’s wise to seek out experienced divorce advice as soon as possible.