The information about your marital status or situation of your marriage is not included in your credit report. Therefore, the divorce itself has no power to damage your credit score. However, some people experience credit damage after their divorce. Why? Let’s find out.
Can divorce damage my credit score?
Divorce can change your financial situation, sometimes drastically, which results in some financial troubles.
Hence, your divorce can (of course does not have to) have impact on your credit score, but not directly. After divorce, your income is divided into two, thus, it becomes much lower.
Less money means more financial trouble and it can lead to various missed or late payments. As we know, this kind of information is a very powerful factor which influences the score negatively.
Moreover, joint accounts are often the source of problems. Even if the judge makes your ex-spouse responsible for paying off the joint debt, his/her missed payments will occur also on your credit report. It may seem unfair, and gives a great opportunity to take revenge, but it works like this and you must know it.
How can I protect my credit score?
You will have to organize your finances in a different way after divorce.
No, you can’t check your spouse (or ex’s) credit history.
Remember about making payments on time. Payment history and level of debt have huge power to influence your score. Your income is going to be reduced, that is why, you should plan your expenses really thoroughly.
Do not make more debt, minimize the one you already have. If you cannot afford your car, sell it or buy a cheaper one. Find a cheaper place to live, plan your everyday expenses like groceries etc.
In general, try to spend less
Know what you can afford and make your loan or credit card payments a priority. If you are somehow financially tied to your spouse, separate yourself before the divorce.
Close any joint accounts, remove authorization for your spouse to unable him/her to run up a balance. You should separate your debts and make both of you responsible for his own debt. In order to do this, refinance your loans or transfer credit card balances to another credit.
You can ask your attorneys to solve the matter if the relationship between you two is too complicated. Make at least minimum payments in order to protect your credit. Do not trust your spouse and do not expect that he/she will pay everything on time.
If the account is on your name, be careful. Check the payments and due dates even if it is your spouse who have been made responsible for the account on your name.
Remember that late payments are reported to the credit bureaus when they are 30 days late. This gives you a chance to make a payment before the damaging item is added to your credit report.
However, there is one condition – first you must know about it. Make sure that you monitor the payments regularly. Only in this way you will have control over your debt and you will avoid missed or late payments.