Managing your credit rating when getting a divorce

On behalf of The Walters Law Group, Ltd. posted in Divorce on Wednesday, April 3, 2013.

Simply getting a divorce has no impact on the credit ratings of Illinois residents, but financial changes associated with splitting up a marriage can lead to lowering an individual’s credit score. This is why people who are considering a divorce should be proactive about tracking their credit score and splitting up finances as quickly as possible.

The first thing that those considering divorce should do is get a copy of their credit score. This will tell them what debts are in their name and those that they share with their spouse. If it is not an amicable split, one may also want to sign up for a credit monitoring service to ensure that their ex-spouse does not attempt to open any lines of credit using his or her social security number.

Individuals should also try to split up bank accounts and remove their spouse as an authorized user from credit accounts. Authorized users can add charges to a card, but they are not responsible for paying it off. Couples may also want to pay off loans that have both names on it by using joint funds so that their finances remain relatively separate following the divorce. This will protect both parties from credit score damage if the other fails to keep up with loan payments.

Divorce almost inevitably has an enormous impact on someone’s finances, and it is important that one makes informed choices to prevent money troubles later. Therefore, some may find speaking with a divorce lawyer to be helpful since a lawyer could explain their options and help them with the filing process.

Source: Dough Roller, “How to Protect Your Credit During a Divorce,” Abby Hayes, March 2013