This week we are discussing how a Washington divorce could affect your credit and what steps you can take to protect and build your credit before, during, and after you marriage ends. As we’ve established, one of the single best steps you can take when divorcing is to request a free credit report. But what should you do once you have the report in your hands?
- Review the document with your spouse. If possible, sit down with your ex and take a close look at your credit report together. Have you closed all of your joint accounts? Are you aware of the debts and late payments listed, and do you have an action plan for those issues? Moving forward, who will be responsible for bills that used to be joint?
- Look for and report any errors. Credit reports are not perfect: they could have serious errors that can hurt your credit. For example, someone with your name or at an old address could be harming your score. You will have to tell the credit bureau about the mistake in detail and request that it is remedied.
- Set goals to improve your credit if needed. If your credit score is low, or if you have little credit history outside of your marriage, you will need to take steps to improve it. Make a plan to up your credit score by establishing a budget, setting up payment plans, opening new accounts, and, of course, paying all of your bills on time.
Unfortunately, divorce may harm your credit score in a number of ways – some minor, some major. The good news is that paying attention to your credit before and during the divorce can mitigate these issues and ensure that you start the new chapter of your life with stable finances.
Do you need the assistance of a Seattle divorce lawyer? Call attorney Molly B. Kenny at 425-460-0550.