Our Blog Aims to Inform the Community Contact the Columbia Family Law Group with Any Questions You Might Have

How to Establish Credit While Getting Divorced in Missouri

You are getting divorced and you haven’t thought about how to establish credit because during the marriage your individual credit score was highly dependent on your spouse’s activity. Everything you did was joint. This included the home loan, car loan, etc. What will you do now that you are getting divorced?

  1. Start with running a credit report. You don’t know what will be on that report and the report gives you a starting place. Is there debt on the report in your name that you didn’t know about? Has your spouse opened credit card debt in your name? Are there hidden assets that you can find because your spouse applied for a loan on a boat, car, or other items that you didn’t know about? This is important information that can help you navigate through your divorce successfully, so a credit report is always a good place to start.
  2. Get a bank account in your own name. Want to build credit? You need a bank account in your own name. Getting that account in your name sooner rather than later allows you to begin establishing credit and starts to give you some independence.
  3. Get a credit card in your own name. Again, you need to establish credit and you may need that credit card for attorney’s fees or other expenses during the divorce. Getting a credit card in your name is another good place to start when getting divorced.
  4. Get a job. If you have been at home or unemployed then getting at least a part-time job to show that you are responsible and earning an income stream will only benefit your credit. Credit agencies want to see at least three to six months of income to change your credit report limits. You may need to refinance a home or vehicle loan in your name as part of the divorce, but you won’t be able to if you haven’t been working and showing an income.
  5. Remove your name from all jointly held debts. Follow up and make sure your name is removed from all jointly held debts that are being assumed by your spouse. If you don’t this will affect your credit long after the divorce is final.

If you have questions about establishing credit while getting divorced, please contact us—we can help.