Protecting Your Credit After Divorce
Ending a marriage can come with emotional, legal, and practical implications. Many couples, for instance, worry about protecting their credit scores during divorce, especially if they are struggling financially. Fortunately, there are steps that couples can take to help avoid these kinds of problems, so if you and your partner have decided to end your marriage, you should consider reaching out to an experienced Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer for help.
Could My Divorce Affect My Credit Score?
Technically, filing for divorce doesn’t directly affect a couple’s credit scores. However, financial issues that often accompany divorce could end up having an indirect effect on the parties’ credit. This is largely due to the fact that married couples often have joint finances and shared accounts, or may have purchased property together. In these cases, debt and unpaid bills can lower both parties’ credit scores even after divorce.
What Things Could Negatively Impact My Credit Score?
All credit scores are calculated using a wide range of financial information, including credit history and debt. These scores range, usually from between 300 and 850, with the latter representing the highest score that a person can have. Generally, the higher the credit score, the better it is. Credit scores are used by lenders and financial companies when making lending decisions and when deciding on interest rates, making these scores extremely important to a person’s financial security.
There are a number of factors that can negatively affect your credit score, including:
- Missing or submitting late payments;
- Defaulting on an account;
- Owing a significant amount of debt;
- Your credit history;
- The types of loans you have taken out; and
- Whether you have recently opened any new accounts.
These issues are just as likely to affect a person’s credit during a marriage as after divorce.
Protecting or Rebuilding Your Credit After Divorce
Going through a divorce can be expensive and disentangling your finances from a former spouse’s can make this process even more complicated. It is, for instance, relatively easy for things to get lost in the shuffle or for there to be confusion over who is responsible for which debt. One of the best ways to avoid these kinds of mistakes is to know what your credit score is and what is currently impacting it. Another way to stay on top of your credit score during and immediately after divorce is to obtain a credit report every year. In fact, we are all entitled to one free annual credit report under federal law. Upon receipt of the report, you should verify that your information is both correct and current and ask the credit reporting agency to address any mistakes you find. It’s also a good idea to remain vigilant for signs of fraud and identity theft. Monitoring joint accounts, always paying bills on time, and paying back debt can also play a crucial role in protecting your credit after divorce.
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To learn more about protecting your credit after a Florida divorce, please reach out to dedicated Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 today.