Going through a divorce is never easy. Not only does it take a toll on you emotionally, but it can impact your finances too. In this article, our experts at the DiPietro Law Group explain the effects of divorce on your credit score.
If you have more questions, call our law office at (888) 530-4374 to speak with a property division Virginia lawyer.
Does Divorce Affect Your Credit Score?
The short answer is no. On its own, divorce doesn’t affect your credit score directly.Your credit reports don’t even record your marital status. However, divorce may still hurt your credit score in several indirect ways:
Divorce Is Expensive
You may end up borrowing or missing payments to foot the legal fees, pay child and spousal support, and provide for yourself as a single adult. The resulting penalties and accrued interest will likely show up on your credit reports.
Creditors Don’t Heed Divorce Decrees
A divorce decree is a court document that lays out the division of marital assets and debts, including who pays which creditor. For instance, if you have a joint auto loan, the decree may state that your spouse gets to keep the car but must cover all payments.
Unfortunately, debt collectors and creditors often ignore divorce decrees. So, if your ex misses a payment on the car loan, your personal credit may take a hit.
Joint Accounts Remain on Your Credit Reports
Divorce doesn’t automatically dissolve joint accounts. It also doesn’t remove joint accounts from your credit reports. Lenders will expect both of you to pay, regardless of what the divorce decree says.
If your ex misses a payment, makes a late payment, or makes excessive charges on a joint credit card, this will appear on your credit reports — and you’ll be responsible for paying it all back.
Protecting Your Credit Score in a Divorce
A divorce doesn’t have to spell financial ruin. There are steps you can take to protect your credit score, such as:
- Separate any joint accounts if your spouse is cooperative. A property division attorney from our team at the DiPietro Law Group can help you find an arrangement that works for you both.
- Freeze your credit reports with all three credit reporting bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) to block your ex from opening accounts in your name.
- Close joint credit cards and remove your spouse as an authorized user from any cards in your name only.
- Open a bank account in your name only to protect your future finances.
Talk to a Property Division Virginia Lawyer Today
Divorce is hard, but being informed puts you in a better position to protect your property and debts. Our attorneys at the DiPietro Law Group can explain your options regarding any joint and separate property and suggest next steps.To learn more about Virginia family law and how divorce can affect your finances, call us at (888) 530-4374 to speak to an experienced divorce attorney.