10 Oct How can I raise my credit score before a divorce?
Q. My credit is very intertwined with my husband and my score is lower than his. What can I do to prepare for divorce and raise my score? We have pretty much everything in both our names.
— Planning ahead
A. One of the most important things to think about as you consider a divorce is your credit score.
And if much of your credit is intertwined with your husband’s as you said, it’s important to make some moves to put yourself in a better situation.
“As you consider your post-divorce life and ensuing financial freedom, it is critical to remember that the better your credit score the easier it will be for you to purchase or lease a home or a car or make any large or small purchase,” said Jeralyn Lawrence, a family law attorney with Lawrence Law in Watchung.
First, order your credit report.
Review that report and make sure it is accurate, Lawrence said. If there are errors, be sure to follow the dispute process as established by the credit bureau to have errors removed from the report. This alone can markedly increase your credit score, she said.
Next, she said, establish credit in your own name.
“Being an authorized user on a credit card is different then being a primary cardholder so be sure you have accounts in your own name,” she said.
Your next step is to have your name removed from all accounts that are not yours or that you no longer want to be associated with your name, she said. You don’t want to be held responsible for credit decisions made by your husband when you are no longer married.
Lastly, be sure to remain current on all bills and accounts in your name, Lawrence said.
“Protect and guard your credit with vigor and diligence,” she said. “You will be happy you did as you move forward post-divorce.”
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This story was originally published on Oct. 10, 2022.
NJMoneyHelp.com presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.