4 Credit Tips for the Recently Divorced

Ending a long-term relationship or going through a divorce may mean you need to tighten up your finances and keep track of your credit. By following a few of these tips, you can get your credit and finances ready for the next step in your life:

Making a list of debts and credit
Your first step in this process should be to write down all of the accounts you have including debts, open lines of credit and any investments you made during your relationship. These accounts can be anything from the first credit card you opened with your partner, unused equity on your home or even a department store credit card. If you are having trouble remembering all of the lines of credit you may have open, running a credit report can help refresh your memory. You are allowed a free credit report a year, which can help you keep track of the state of your finances and assist you in staying on top of your credit. This document will have a list of all the lines of credit you have ever opened, which can help with figuring out what debts you have.

Individual or joint accounts
Once you have discovered all the debts and credit you have, investigate which ones are in your name and which accounts you shared. You will be solely responsible for the accounts that are in your name, but joint or shared accounts are a little different. For these types of accounts, you will be responsible for them even if you still share it with your spouse. Your credit score will be negatively affected if your partner runs up the account balance or forgets to make a payment.

Authorized user
It is possible that you or your spouse was an authorized user under an account Under this type of credit, the account is in one person's name, but they have allowed someone else to use the card. If it is in your name, you will be responsible for paying the balance back. Your credit score could take a hit if your significant other continues to use it.

Coming to a compromise
Regardless of what situation you and your partner find yourselves in, your best bet is to have a discussion to decide who is responsible for what debt. You can come to a compromise about paying the debt or have your spouse taken off an account. Coming to a compromise about how to deal with credit card accounts and lines of debt can help you stay on top of your finances and make sure you maintain your credit score while going through a divorce.