Did the Divorce affect Your Credit Score?
Not sure? It’s time to Check…NOW
Are you recently divorced or divorced for a while? Rebuilding or continuing your credit after divorce may not seem like a priority right now, especially if you’re still healing from your marriage ending. If you eventually want to obtain credit cards in your name, finance a vehicle or home, and even begin a new job, you need to make sure that you have a good CREDIT SCORE. Why? Your Credit Score will affect your ability to get a loan, rent a house, or get hired for that job. You have to have the highest Credit Score possible for where you are today.
The Following are my top Pre- and Post-Divorce Credit Repair Score Tips:
- Cancel all joint credit card accounts from your marriage. This will safeguard your credit record in case your ex-husband decides to use them. If the debts are in both of your names, it will remain a liability to you until they’re paid off.
- All accounts you had while using your husband’s surname should be changed to the name you are using now. This will help to rebuild your Credit Score.
- Begin to start a personal relationship with a bank and banker of your choice that you did not do business with while married. Open a new account or maybe a small CD.
- Quickly establish accounts in your name, so you can begin to rebuild your credit.
These are the exact methods I utilize when I coach my private Credit Score Clients:
Step 1: What’s Your Credit Score Today?
Order a copy of your credit reports. Make sure to get a copy from the top 3 Credit Bureau Providers as information varies greatly. Make sure all the information is correct on YOU and that the division of debts is accurately reflected. If there are errors on your report, you may want to contact a reputable Credit Repair Firm to assist you with this because it can be a challenge at times. If you want to do it yourself, contact all the creditors and the bureaus and supply them with the proof they request. After all the correcting and updating is completed, order your report again in 3 months to ensure that everything is being reported correctly and nothing has re-appeared. (It happens frequently).
Step 2: Do You have your own Credit Score?
If not, Establish Credit In Your Own Name. If you do great! Continue to build a good Credit Score. You can follow my tips from below.
If you don’t have a Credit Score established in your own name, begin rebuilding today. Now is the time to get started. You might not qualify for a major credit card right now, that’s ok. You might want to consider applying for a store credit card or a gas credit card. If you’re approved, charge a small amount monthly and pay it in full on time.
Now you are beginning to build a great Credit Score. Another way to start building an outstanding Credit Score in your own name is by applying for a secured credit card or taking out a small loan at a bank, and using an asset or your savings as collateral. The same applies here, make your payments on time every month and do not carry any balances in your rebuilding phase. You will begin to build a consistent credit history, which will increase your Credit Score and make it easier to be approved for unsecured credit in the future.
Step 3: Make Your Payments On Time.
Your Great Credit Score is built on longevity of timely payments so, the longer you pay your bills on time, the higher your score will be. Money can be scarce after divorce or at any time, and sometimes you will have to juggle your bill payments.
Following are my personal recommendations for the order in which to pay your bills:
- Mortgage or Rent payments — This is one of the heaviest weighted items in the scoring algorithm. So, make sure you make these payments on time or your Credit Score will suffer greatly.
- Car, Motorcycle, Boat etc. Loans — If you depend on your car for various activities, keep these payments current. If not, you run the risk of it being repossessed.
- Credit Cards— You want to pay these in full or make the minimum payment by the due date. Credit Card accounts are now (in a lot of cases) being reported after they are 5 days late. This will also keep your interest rates from rising and help you avoid late fees.
- Utility Bills— You will want to pay the minimum required to make sure your utility services continue. Reconsider what utilities you have. If you need to cutback, cable and land line phones are always an option to cut out.
- Health and Auto Insurance Premiums — If you have an auto many states require auto insurance, this is a bill you need to make sure gets paid. With Health Insurance, you might want to raise your deductible to lower your monthly premium.
- Secured Debts — Beware of these. If they don’t get paid, the creditor can repossess the asset that was used to secure the loan. If you absolutely can’t make the payment, you need to see if you can give the asset to the creditor without it hurting your credit.
- Unsecured Debts — These include all other debts. Like, to your attorney, doctor, hospital, and any other service provider or professionals. Most often, as long as you pay a small amount monthly, these accounts will be fine. If you absolutely can’t make that months payment, contact them and usually they will work something out with you.
Step 4: Pay down your debts
A high debt ratio hurts your credit score. The most effective way to improve your score is by not carrying a balance or paying down your debts. A high debt ratio hurts your credit score. The most effective way to improve your score is by not carrying a balance or paying down your debts.
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