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Does getting a divorce lower your credit score?

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2024 | Family Law

Divorce is a significant life event that can have far-reaching consequences. One aspect that individuals may not immediately consider is its potential impact on their credit score.

While divorce itself does not directly cause a decrease in scores, the financial changes that accompany the process can lead to challenges that affect your credit.

Financial independence

When a couple decides to separate, they also need to unravel their shared financial commitments. It is imperative to close joint accounts and establish individual financial identities carefully. If not handled correctly, this transition can reduce credit scores. Addressing outstanding debts, shared loans and joint credit cards helps avoid negative consequences.

Credit history

Credit history is a significant factor influencing scores. If you had joint accounts during your marriage, those accounts will appear on both credit reports. Closing joint accounts may affect the length of your credit history, which can also influence your scores. It then becomes necessary to establish individual lines of credit to maintain a positive financial history.

Debt division

During divorce proceedings, the division of assets includes sharing debts. The responsibility for shared debts may change, but it is important to note that creditors are not bound by divorce agreements. If one party does not meet the financial obligations outlined in the divorce settlement, it can lead to issues for both individuals.

Late payments

Divorce often brings significant changes, such as adjustments to living arrangements and financial responsibilities. At times, these changes can unintentionally result in missed or late payments. To maintain a good credit score, on-time payments are paramount. Any lapse in payment can hurt your creditworthiness.

Communication

Clear communication is necessary to minimize the potential impact of divorce on credit scores. Open discussions about financial responsibilities and proactive management of joint accounts can help reduce negative consequences.

To make sure your credit stays in good shape, it is important to take action and deal with any shared money responsibilities early on while going through a divorce.