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How can my divorce impact my credit score and history?

There are many financial impacts to a divorce. You will have to learn to live on one income instead of two. You might not have thought about the impact that this will have on your credit, but you should take a few minutes to think about this.

You might not think that you will need to worry about your credit after the divorce, but you might be surprised at when you will need it. You might need to buy a new car or a new home. This could come down to what your credit report says.

How will my credit be affected?

Your debt-to-income ratio might go up because of the legal end of your marriage. This won't necessarily be the case if you and your ex pay off your debts. Your credit can also be impacted by the way that your ex pays for bills that he or she is supposed to pay. There is also a chance that your credit utilization percentage will be impacted by the divorce and the manner in which the debts are handled.

Can I protect my credit score?

You can protect your credit score by closing all accounts that you and your ex both have access to. This prevents more charges from being made to them. If possible, you and your ex can each transfer the accounts you are responsible for into individually held accounts instead of the joint accounts. Creditors don't have to abide by the terms of a divorce order, since the order is a civil matter, so you should be prepared to deal with the creditors if your ex fails to pay bills that he or she is supposed to pay after the divorce.

Source: FindLaw, "Credit and Divorce," accessed Oct. 12, 2017

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