Can divorce affect my credit score?

Having good credit is an important part of one’s current and future financial success. But while divorce does not directly impact someone’s credit score, actions taken during the process certainly can. Understanding the possible threats to credit may encourage some individuals in Illinois to be proactive about protecting their credit scores during what might already be a difficult period of time.

Before one can protect a credit score, he or she must first know what it is. Someone can determine what that score is by pulling his or her credit report. It is not enough to just pull one, though. Instead, he or she should pull from all three of the credit bureaus.

These credit reports show more than just a person’s credit score. He or she can also use this information to identify all joint accounts shared with a spouse. It is not all that uncommon for an upset ex who feels vindictive to run up charges or empty accounts, so it is best to close out these accounts quickly. When doing so is not possible, the next step should be to carefully monitor these accounts for unusual activity.

Separate accounts pose a threat to one’s credit, too. A spouse who is listed as an authorized user can still spend irresponsibly, reflecting poorly on the owner of the account. Individuals as an authorized user on the other person’s account is also crucial. Any negative behavior on that account could still reflect back poorly on his or her credit score.

While no one in Illinois should let financial worries prevent him or her from leaving an unhappy relationship, it is still essential to be aware of possible pitfalls. This includes being aware of marital financial assets, including savings, retirement accounts and debts. Keeping track of all this during divorce may feel understandably overwhelming, but a knowledgeable attorney may be able to explain someone’s options for maintaining a sense of financial security throughout the process.

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