Can divorce impact your credit score?

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2023 | Family Law |

Divorce can bring about significant changes in many aspects of life, and credit scores are no exception. Both men and women may experience notable impacts on their creditworthiness during and after a divorce.

Understanding these effects is important for individuals navigating the financial aftermath of marital separation.

Joint accounts and shared debt

A key factor influencing credit scores during divorce is the presence of joint accounts and shared debt. When couples share credit cards, loans or mortgages, both parties are responsible for the associated debt. If one party fails to fulfill his or her financial obligations on joint accounts, it can affect the credit scores of both parties. Closing joint accounts and settling shared debts help mitigate these risks.

Individual financial responsibility

Following divorce, individuals become solely responsible for their financial obligations. This shift from shared financial responsibilities to individual accountability can impact credit scores. Timely payments on personal credit cards, loans and other financial obligations become even more critical. Missed or late payments can lead to credit score reductions. Establishing a clear and manageable budget is the key to maintaining financial stability post-divorce.

Changes in income and expenses

Divorce often brings changes in income and expenses for both parties. Adjusting to a new financial reality can be challenging. Individuals may need to reassess their spending habits and financial priorities. Failing to align income with expenses can lead to financial strain, affecting credit scores. Responsible financial management is key during this transitional period.

Division of assets and liabilities

The division of assets and liabilities during divorce can also impact credit scores based on the allocation of debts. If one party assumes responsibility for significant debts, it may affect that party’s creditworthiness. Transparency and communication during the divorce process help ensure an equitable distribution of assets and liabilities that considers both parties’ financial well-being.

While divorce can have a notable impact on credit scores, Chase Bank recommends that both parties strive to spend less than 30% of the total credit they have available to them. Doing so can help rebuild credit after a divorce. It can also help now-single individuals learn how to live within their new budgets.