Will Divorce Affect My Credit Score?

Will Divorce Affect My Credit Score?

If you’re going through a divorce in Georgia, it’s natural to have concerns about your financial future. One common worry is the impact divorce will have on your credit score. 

Will divorce affect your credit score? No! Divorce itself doesn’t directly affect your credit score. However, the financial decisions and changes that come with it can have significant implications. An experienced Atlanta divorce attorney can help you avoid making decisions and mistakes that could negatively impact your credit scores and financial future

Understanding Credit Scores & Why They Matter

Your credit score is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness. Factors like your payment history, debt levels, and credit history length determine it. 

  • Excellent Credit Score: An “excellent” credit score is usually 740 or higher. This score range indicates an exceptional level of creditworthiness. Individuals with excellent credit scores often have access to the best available interest rates and credit terms. They are considered highly favorable customers by lenders.
  • Good Credit Score: A credit score is typically considered “good” if it falls within the range of 670 to 739. This range indicates that the individual has a relatively low credit risk. With a good credit score, you’ll likely qualify for various credit products, though not necessarily at the most competitive interest rates.
  • Bad Credit Score: On the other end of the spectrum, a “bad” credit score typically falls below 580. This range suggests a higher risk to lenders, often due to past credit missteps like late payments, high credit utilization, or defaulted loans. With a bad credit score, getting approved for credit products can be challenging; if approved, the interest rates are likely to be significantly higher.

How Divorce Can Affect Your Credit Score

In a divorce, your joint financial obligations, individual debt responsibility, and how much credit you have available can all affect your credit score. This is especially true if there are missed payments or high balances on joint accounts.

In Georgia, like many states, debts incurred during the marriage are generally considered marital debts and are typically divided during a divorce. If your name remains on joint accounts, such as mortgages or credit cards, you’re still legally responsible for them. Any late payments or defaults on these accounts can negatively impact your credit score.

Post-divorce, if you’re assigned responsibility for certain debts but fail to meet these obligations, it can lower your credit score. Even if the divorce decree states that your ex-spouse is responsible for certain debts, creditors may still hold you accountable if your name is on the account.

Your credit utilization ratio (the amount of credit you’re using compared to your credit limit) can change if you suddenly rely more on credit cards to manage expenses. A higher credit utilization ratio can negatively impact your credit score.

A reduced household income due to the divorce can make it more challenging to keep up with existing credit obligations, potentially leading to late or missed payments, which are detrimental to your credit score.

Protecting Your Credit Score After Divorce

Fortunately, there are ways you can protect your credit score after divorce. Your attorney and financial advisor can help you develop a plan to protect your finances during divorce. 

Refinancing and Separating Debts

One way to protect your credit score is to refinance or close joint accounts. Refinancing loans or mortgages in your name removes your ex-spouse’s responsibility, ensuring that your credit score reflects your financial behavior alone.

Budgeting for Single Income

Adjusting to a single income post-divorce can be challenging. Creating a realistic budget ensures you can meet all your financial obligations. This is crucial for maintaining a good credit score as it relies heavily on timely bill payments.

Legal Agreements and Credit Protection

During your divorce proceedings in Georgia, ensure that your divorce decree clearly outlines the division of debts. This can include who is responsible for what debts and how they will be handled. However, remember that creditors may still hold you responsible for joint debts, regardless of what your divorce decree says.

Monitoring Your Credit

Regularly monitoring your credit report is important. This helps you keep track of any changes or inaccuracies that might arise due to the divorce. You’re entitled to a free credit report annually from the three major credit bureaus.

Contact Our Atlanta Divorce Lawyers

If you’re going through a divorce, our attorneys can help protect everything you value most – including your financial freedom. This means protecting your credit scores as you make crucial decisions throughout the divorce process. Our team of Atlanta divorce lawyers will guide you along the way so you move into a better future. 

To schedule a consultation, please call us at (770) 284-6153 or fill out our confidential contact form. We are here to help you simplify the divorce process and take the burdens off of your shoulders.

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