Divorce can impact your finances in a number of ways, your credit score included. A lower score could interfere with your ability to receive lending which could make it harder to get a home or buy a car, for example.
Protecting your credit score from too much damage requires diligence and preparation. Taking action before you file for divorce can put you in a better position to safeguard your financial reputation.
Identify credit ties
Depending on which debts you and your spouse have, some of them might trace back to your partner’s credit while others trace back to yours. Know which accounts tie to your credit. While awaiting a decision regarding whether to close specific accounts, keep a close watch on all activity.
Any action your spouse takes can reflect poorly on your score. CNBC recommends that during divorce, you remove your partner as an authorized user on all credit cards you have. Additionally, remove yourself as an authorized user on your partner’s cards to protect yourself from overdraft charges or non-payment fees because of spending you did not do.
Freeze your credit
Consider freezing your credit. To do this, you will need to contact all three credit bureaus. A credit freeze prevents anyone from opening a new line of credit using your personal information. You can secure your credit this way until your divorce finalizes and you feel more confident that your ex is no longer a threat to your financial stability.
Live conservatively in anticipation of divorce and especially in the months that follow. Avoid unnecessary spending and scale back on fringe expenses. Live within your means and prioritize paying debts in full and on time.
Your preparation and careful maintenance of your finances can prevent your credit score from taking too big a hit.