Divorce is the bitter truth for 39% of marriages in the United States. Even though the number seems to be dropping, it’s mainly due to fewer people getting married and opting for cohabiting.

Filing for a divorce is a complicated legal process for which you need a lawyer to help you out. However, what people don’t talk much about is how divorce sets you back financially. Other than costing you a large sum of money in lawyer’s fees and the settlement, a divorce can affect your credit too.

Our experts have put together the best tips to follow to protect your credit as much as possible:

Separate and freeze any joint accounts

Separate any joint accounts you and your ex-partner have. Try to separate them as best you can. If youcan’t find a common ground, use the funds to pay off joint debt or close the accounts and withdraw the money.

Remove your ex-partner from authorized users

Credit cards and debit cards have the option of listing authorized users, that means another person can use these cards for transactions. When filing for divorce, make sure you remove your partner from the list of authorized users. Authorized users aren’t responsible for making timely payments so it’s best you keep this responsibility to yourself.

Pay off joint debt first

You and your ex-partner could have taken joint loans for whatever reason. Such debt will bring down your credit score. Make sure the two of you pay off that debt as soon as possible, even before beginning divorce proceedings. Sell off joint assets to help you pay off this debt.

See also  Pro Tips on Building Personal Savings

Check your credit report

Request the credit bureau to send a copy of your credit report to you. Check each and every entry in the report to identify any joint account. Make sure you have it closed and get the negative items removed from your report. Closing all joint accounts with your partner is the best way to maintain and improve your credit.

Change your name before signing up for new credit

If you changed your name after marriage, you need to go back to your maiden name once you get divorced. If you plan on applying for a credit card, loan, or any other credit facilities, it’s best to do so once you’ve gone back to your maiden name.

This way new accounts and credit cards are issued on your legal name and you won’t have to go through the hassle of changing your name with the bank. Changing our name won’t affect your credit, since that is identified by your social security number.

Masters Credit Consultants are credit repair consultants that help individuals improve their credit score by disputing incorrect and negative items. We also provide credit analysis in Spartanburg County. Call 1-844-620-8796 for more information about our services.