Financial Education



Divorce and Credit

Marriage or Divorce
Credit problems from marriage or divorce are common. At a minimum, you should protect the integrity of your credit report if you are faced with such a transition. With a copy of your current credit report in hand, notify credit reporting agencies when you marry, legally separate, or divorce.

For divorce cases, the agencies will record the address and other contact information of both parties separately to help separate transactions. Also, secure your mail carefully, as items such as pre-approved credit applications can be easily confiscated by a disgruntled ex-spouse.

Talk with your attorney about closing all joint accounts and paying off the current balances. Also, consult with your lawyer about making preliminary debt-paying arrangements with your spouse even before your divorce is finalized (although some of these agreements will be spelled out in your final divorce decree).

Revise Your Budget Based on Your New Status
Closely track the money that's coming in and going out, and continue to check credit reports for accuracy. You can also subscribe to a credit monitoring service like Equifax Credit Watchâ„¢. Such a service will notify you when new inquiries or other key changes are posted to your credit file.