Protect Your Credit Rating
If you and your spouse share accounts, you also share the debt no matter who does the buying. As long as those accounts are open, you are responsible and risk damaging your financial reputation.
Here are some tips on how to handle your credit rating and divorce:
Protect yourself by closing accounts and applying for new accounts in your own name before you separate, particularly if you don’t have a credit record of your own. You don’t have to reapply for credit when you separate or divorce.
Check with your local credit agency or bureau – the number will be in the Yellow Pages – for a copy of your credit report – which is what credit card companies, banks and stores see when you apply for credit. If you have never had credit in your own name, you may not have a file though you’ve always paid your bills. That’s all the more reason to begin building your own record while you are married. If you have a name change after divorce or remarriage, be sure to let the credit bureau know.
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act doesn’t guarantee you will get credit, but it does prohibit discrimination. Creditors can’t ask your sex or if you’re married. You don’t have to give any information about a spouse or former spouse unless you live in a community property state or your income comes from alimony.
Learn Your Credit Rights