Although you know divorce significantly impacts various aspects of your life, you may not be considering how it will affect your credit score. On the one hand, getting divorced does not directly reduce your credit score because your creditworthiness is not related to your marital status.
On the other hand, divorce can directly impact your finances, which can, in turn, affect your credit score. This could be because of trouble with paying bills, having joint accounts or dealing with a vindictive ex. Here is a look at each of these situations and how to deal with them.
1. Are you able to pay bills without using credit cards?
If your ex was the breadwinner in your home, you may have difficulty covering all of the bills by yourself. This can result in late payments and high credit card usage. Try to eliminate or limit unnecessary spending during this time. You could also consider other sources of income to temporarily cover your bills.
2. Is your ex willing to pay joint bills?
If you still have joint accounts such as credit cards or mortgages with your ex, someone is responsible for them. Unfortunately, your ex may not be concerned about credit as much as you are. If these bills are in your name and go unpaid, your credit score will suffer. Ideally, you will be able to talk to your ex and convince him or her to start making payments. If not, you might have to start making payments for now so your credit will not drop.
3. Are you worried about your ex being vindictive?
Does your ex still have access to your credit accounts? If so, you should remove him or her as an authorized user. Even if things ended without much drama, you never know what a former spouse will do when he or she is angry or grieving. Do not assume everything will be handled gracefully.
What has helped you protect your finances during divorce?