What to do if your partner ruins your credit?
Divorce may change everything around you, as a family and as a financer you will have to be very careful about the steps you take during or after the divorce. Credit is one of the most crucial part of the divorce since you can either be humiliated by your partner or you can be under debt. There are many ways through which you can protect your credit from your partner; few of them are listed below
- Check your credit reports regularly, before and after divorce. Obtain your copies of bank statements on regular basis so you may have a clear insight of what is going on with the joint account.
- Enable a ‘freeze’ on your credit files, if your spouse has already abused your credit accounts, you might want to put a ‘freeze’ on your credit files or a fraud alert in such cases, this will help you protect the credit files by not allowing your ex to manipulate any accounts further.
- Use credit cards wisely, credit cards should always be used wisely before and after marriage but no one thinks of that when the marriage is still alive. Make the best of your abilities to manage the accounts. If you cannot make full payments, at least make the minimum payments. Although you may have legal bills and other expenses but try not to max out on your credit cards.
- Keep your address up to date, if you move out, your creditors are not the only ones who need to be notifies, you should report the change of address to your nearest post office or update it online at usps.com. This way, any new billing statements or credit card bills will be forwarded to your new corresponding address. The last inconvenience you would want is to not receive the credit card statements or your ex not telling you that the bills are lying at our old residence.
- Get monthly statements, instead of yearly or quarterly statements, get monthly statements for your ease, this will not only clarify the expenses but will also allow you to point out if any expenditure which is not in your notice has been paid for.
- Notify creditors about your divorce, after you close your joint accounts, send a certified letter notifying your credit card companies or other lenders and ask them for a current statement of the account and also tell them that you will not be liable to any debt accumulated after the date of the written letter/request.
- Remove your spouse as an authorized user, if you are an authorized user to your spouse’s credit account or if your spouse is an authorized user to your account then remove your spouse from the account. This will help you control the debt and not accumulate any further. Revoke the rights through email or a formal letter, whatever your bank requires.
- Close joint accounts immediately, having joint accounts at the time of your divorce can be considered a serious problem, they won’t only consider you debtor along with your spouse but will also have some debt under your name to be paid. So when filing for divorce, make sure you file for closing joint accounts too.
- Avoid binge shopping, most of the time your spouse shops to get back at you in the form of credit. This is always a bad idea to start with, by doing this you will not only ruin your position but will also be held accountable for immature behavior in the court. Keep you calm and rethink everything you do when going through a divorce.
- Do not fight too hard for the house, females tend to get emotional when it comes to moving out of the marital home since they claim that they have raised their kids here and have emotional attachments with the house. So the question now is that if you are fighting for the house, do you have the amount to keep the house? As divorce is already difficult and expensive so you may want to think again and again when claiming for the house.
- Get professional and legal help for all your credit and financial issues, matters like credit need careful considerations before and after marriage but when the marriage ends, one of you stops contributing towards the debt, that’s where you need to consult the experts on how to manage your debt.