Divorce can have a devastating impact not only on your physical health, but also on the health of your credit. New financial stressors, combined with an irresponsible spouse’s unfettered access to your accounts can cause your credit to dip precariously, leaving you in peril at a time when you need good credit most. Take the following steps to rebuild your credit after divorce:
Determine the Accuracy of Your Credit Report
Inaccuracy in credit reporting is rampant, with a 2013 Federal Trade Commission report indicating that twenty percent of Americans suffer credit report errors. Inaccuracies are more likely during the upheaval of divorce — particularly if you have a vindictive ex — so keep an eye on your report and take steps to correct any mistakes you spot.
Close Joint Accounts
Close any remaining accounts with your spouse as soon as possible, especially if your ex is financially unreliable. Your credit score will initially dip, but it should be a temporary adjustment. If closing a joint account proves impossible, manage it carefully to avoid credit-damaging late payments.
Establish New Credit
Once you’ve closed joint accounts, your limited available credit will reflect negatively on your score. Fix this by opening new accounts. Credit is determined, in part, by the range of accounts you hold, so if you already have a credit card, consider applying for a small personal loan. Avoid excessive applications at once, as this will harm your credit score.
Ask For An Extension, If Necessary
Struggling to pay the bills? A single late payment can destroy your credit score. If necessary, call your utility company and seek a brief extension. If this approach doesn’t work, ask a loved one for short-term assistance with utility expenses.
Schedule an Emergency Hearing
If your ex fails to pay mandated bills, work with a trusted attorney to schedule an emergency hearing. The judge may order your ex to assist with shared bills, thereby removing some of the burden from your shoulders.
A skilled Maryland family attorney can help you ease the financial burden of divorce by pursuing a favorable alimony resolution or enforcing existing arrangements. Contact DiPietro Family Law today to learn how our talented team can bring about financial relief.