How To Protect Your Credit Report During Divorce
It is no surprise to anyone that divorce is an expensive process. However, many people do not realize until afterward that it can also affect their financial future for months, or even years, to come. In certain cases, a divorce can negatively impact a person’s credit report. Divorce in itself, does not necessarily impact a person’s credit score. Still, there are certain parts of the proceedings that can cause a score to drop. Below are some tips to follow that will protect your credit report, so you can move on from the divorce with confidence.
Obtain Your Credit Reports
As soon as you start considering divorce, it is important to obtain a copy of your credit report from the major reporting bureaus. These are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. If you have not obtained a copy of the report within the past year, doing so will not hurt your credit score and you can receive a free copy. Review the reports carefully to ensure the information is correct and if there are joint debts you do not recognize, speak to your spouse about them now.
Remove Authorized Users
It is not uncommon for spouses to have separate debt, but to allow their partner as an authorized user. This means the account is not in their name, but they still have access to it. If your spouse is an authorized user on any account, such as a credit card, remove them so they do not rack up charges they may not be responsible for paying. Also, if you are an authorized user on any of your spouse’s accounts, have your name removed to reduce the likelihood that you will be liable for them.
Separate Joint Accounts
If you have joint accounts, that is debt that is both your names, it is important to separate those now. If you have a joint bank account, open a separate account. If you have joint debt accounts, speak to the lender about separating them as much as possible. Sometimes it is possible to use joint funds to repay joint accounts before or during the divorce process.
Consider Freezing Your Credit
While it is not legal to do so, if your spouse knows your Social Security number, they may be able to take out credit in your name. This is sometimes particularly a problem after one spouse has removed their partner as an authorized user. To prevent this from happening, it is appropriate in some cases to freeze your credit. This will protect your credit score while blocking access to your accounts.
Our Divorce Lawyers in Tampa Bay Can Advise on All Aspects of Your Case
If you are going through a divorce, our Tampa divorce lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A., can advise on every aspect of your case, including how to protect your financial future. Call us today at 813-672-1900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help. Se habla Español.