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Don’t Let Credit Score Woes Follow your Divorce

Good credit or bad

You may have already considered the ways that divorce can be an emotional challenge. A large share of those going through a divorce also experience a dip in their credit scores, as well. Take proactive steps to diminish the damage that a divorce can do to your creditworthiness by following the guidelines below on avoiding some of the most common ways divorces can hurt your credit.

Make sure your ex makes payments on joint accounts on time

If your spouse has been assigned the role of making payments on joint accounts that still carry your name, such as a mortgage or credit card, don’t assume those payments are arriving on time each month. Many divorced spouses are horrified to learn only when applying for new lines of credit that their exes have not been keeping up with payments, and that their credit has taken a serious hit as a result. Check the balance of joint accounts each month, either by requesting a statement from the financial institution or by checking online, and enlist your attorney’s help in compelling payment if the accounts are in arrears.

Avoid relying too heavily on credit cards during the divorce

Divorce can be expensive. Not only are there court costs and attorneys’ fees, but there are also the substantial costs associated with finding a new place to live and paying bills on a single income. Don’t embark on a new life saddled with a mountain of credit card debt by relying on cards to get you through this time. Reexamine your expenses to make sure that you’re not spending more money than you must, and turn to family for financial help before turning to high-interest credit cards.

Keep a watchful eye on your credit and checking accounts

Some exes dead-set on revenge may try to hit you where it hurts most: your wallet. Some parties to a divorce have been known to charge up debt for their own purposes on open joint credit lines, or drain accounts of jointly-accrued funds behind your back. Whenever applicable, either close out joint accounts you no longer use, or remove your name from the account so that any debt accrued will not reflect on your credit or become yours to pay. Keep a watchful eye on account balances, and if funds suddenly disappear in large amounts, seek your lawyer’s help in putting freezes on joint accounts or tracing funds that were withdrawn.

If you are seeking experienced and compassionate legal help with a divorce or with a personal bankruptcy in New York, contact the Hudson Valley family and consumer law attorneys at Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello for a consultation on your case, at 845-331-4100.

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