How to Protect Your Credit During a Divorce

How to improve credit score

Yvette Barrera

December 22, 2021
How to Protect Your Credit During a Divorce

There’s an emotional sting of dealing with a failed marriage. It spirals down to causing a lot of distress that affects your physical and mental health, but in addition to those things, also your finances.

While there are a hundred things to deal with during such challenging times, you must not forget to focus on keeping your finances protected. Read this blog to learn the ways to protect your credit.

Everyone’s financial situation is different during a divorce, but you have the power to protect your money so that you don’t have to suffer once the legal proceedings are over. Some ways can help you protect your credit, boost your credit, and even minimize damages to your credit score while you’re dealing with a divorce. 

Here are the top six ways to protect your credit during a divorce.

1. Maintain a civil relationship with your ex-spouse.

It may be easier said than done, but maintaining a civil relationship with your ex-spouse throughout your divorce can eliminate most troubles related to your finances. It’ll be easier to arrive at solutions that are in the best interest of all by finding a way to work with your ex-spouse.

Sadly, this isn’t possible in all divorce cases because there are chances you may be dealing with an ex-spouse who is vindictive and has no interest in partnering with you to resolve issues peacefully. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, you must take every measure necessary to protect your credit.

2. Close all joint accounts immediately.

If you and your ex-spouse are on good terms, you can come to an agreement about how you want your joint accounts handled. In an ideal situation, this means you both close all your joint accounts together, split the funds, and open new accounts in your names.

You may want to consider consulting a divorce attorney to learn about the possible actions that can protect your credit if your situation is complicated. 

You can request to close the joint account and complete the formalities from your end to get the ball rolling. However, a joint account can’t be completely closed without the consent of both parties.

3. Contact your creditor and document all your communications.

Contact your creditor and inform them about your divorce if you can’t communicate with your ex-spouse to close any joint accounts. 

You can simply ask to have your name removed from the joint account and inform the authorities that you don’t want to be held responsible for any future charges. 

*Don’t forget that you’ll still be liable for any charges up until that point.

Documenting all of your communications and exchanges with your creditor is a smart move, and if you speak with them over the phone, send your notice in writing for added protection.

Keep all your documents and details of communication organized so you can easily refer to them in the future when needed. 

4. Freeze any joint accounts you share with your ex-spouse.

You can contact your bank to inform them about your divorce and request to freeze your account if you’re worried your ex-spouse will empty all the funds from the joint accounts you share with them. 

Freezing the account will prohibit both of you from withdrawing any money or initiating any other activity. The account can remain frozen until you resolve differences with your ex-spouse.

If you find that your ex-spouse already drained your joint account before you could take any action, the court will likely require you to be reimbursed. 

The sooner you take protective measures, the better it is because it can take a long time to get back that money. 

5. Contact your bank to remove user authorized statuses from credit cards.

Removing your ex-spouse, who is an authorized user on any of your credit cards, is a critical step to protecting your credit since they can spend the funds of that account without being held responsible. 

So simply contact your bank to have user authorization removed for your ex-spouse as soon as you decide to get a divorce.

6. Review your credit reports regularly.

You should address the accounts listed on your credit report that you may have forgotten about, especially if you’ve been married for a long time. Even if your divorce isn’t final yet, it is wise to get a copy of your credit report by contacting any of the three credit bureaus.

By reviewing your report, you can get a detailed look at your credit history to identify any individual and joint accounts. 

Individual accounts and loans are the ones you opened before marriage, and joint accounts and debts are the ones you and your ex-spouse acquired together during the marriage. 

Once you have your credit report, you can view all the accounts listed as authorized users and have them removed as soon as possible.

Final words

Everyone wants to heal and move on personally and financially after a divorce. We hope that the points shared above will help you to protect your credit and minimize any threats to your score.

While fixing your marriage may not be an option for you at this point, your credit may need some help, perhaps a credit repair? Schedule a free consultation with CoolCredit today to fix your credit or boost it.

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