What You Should Know About Divorce and Your Credit Score

credit score, divorce, divorce finances, Illinois divorce lawyer, Chicago divorce attorneyFinances related to divorce can be challenging to figure out. Maintaining mutual financial accounts or ignoring your new obligations (like child support or alimony) can be difficult for a recently divorced individual. If you don’t take steps to establish yourself as financially independent, you might find it harder to do things such as take out loans in your name or open new accounts.

There are steps that you can take to protect your credit score and get on top of your finances, even after a divorce. Your first step is to get your credit report when you begin the divorce process. Bear in mind that having a divorce decree doesn’t free you up from any joint account debt accumulated during the marriage – and that includes car loans or mortgages. In the case where a judge orders that the other party is responsible for a particular bill, you still should follow up on the payments because it will affect your credit score.

According to Experian, you should also know that a bank or credit card issuer has the right to report negative data to credit reporting agencies if a spouse makes a late payment on one of those joint accounts. If your former spouse decides not to pay, it will affect both your credit score, and your former spouse’s, unless you choose to pay. That’s why it’s so important to close joint accounts as soon as possible in a divorce. Creditors can help you navigate the process of transferring joint accounts into the sole responsibility of one party.

Finally, don’t stop paying any bills. You do not want legal action taken against you in the short term. Keep copies of all canceled checks or other proof of payment. Consult with your attorney to be sure that the court is aware of all joint accounts, too. Do not let a divorce destroy your credit by staying on top of payments. Contact an Illinois divorce attorney today for a personal evaluation.

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