Divorce in Florida is always stressful, but most people only think of its immediate impact. In addition to the emotional effects of divorce, there are also financial repercussions to consider. One of those worries is whether divorce can affect your credit score.
Divorce and your credit
If you have a credit card in your name only, getting a divorce won’t affect your credit score. However, if you and your spouse are like many married couples, you might have joint credit accounts and both use the same credit card. This can affect your credit if your spouse has a habit of racking up debt.
There is one exception to this rule: if you are only an authorized user of the credit card, you are not responsible for any of the debt on it. If you are a joint user or cosigner, it’s best to close the joint credit account before your divorce or you will be on the hook for the debt.
How divorce affects your credit
After a divorce, your income changes; you go from a situation of two incomes to only one even if you’re the one receiving alimony and child support. This can affect your credit when you have trouble making timely payments in full.
Debts held jointly with your former spouse are reported to the credit bureaus, so your credit score can decrease. This includes not only credit cards but also mortgages, auto loans and other installment loans. You may also have problems when closing joint credit cards.
If you’re headed for divorce, you can protect your credit by paying off all debts in full and on time. Close any joint accounts you hold with your spouse. In some cases, you might have to go even further and open new credit accounts in your name alone.