If you are facing this situation, you’re not alone. It’s not uncommon for a person to come out of their divorce with a lot of debt and credit damage.
Your divorce is final; you’re now on your own. Your ex may have ruined your credit, you may have had financial problems for many years, or your divorce may have been expensive – whatever the cause, you now need to rebuild your credit. But it’s harder now because you have a single income or maybe receiving alimony and are on a tight budget.
If you are facing this situation, you’re not alone. It’s not uncommon for a person to come out of their divorce with a lot of debt and credit damage. While repairing it won’t happen overnight, working at making sound financial decisions will put you one step closer.
Stick to a Budget
Rebuilding your credit is usually about paying your bills on time and reducing your debt. First, you need to determine if you’re bringing in enough money now that you no longer have your spouse’s income. If your new income, alimony, and child support are insufficient, you may need to assess your job situation. You might be able to increase your hours, find additional part-time work, or look for a completely new job.
Once you have your source of income, it’s essential to manage it well. Make a budget and do your best to stick to it. This is challenging if you’re not used to managing money because your ex always took care of finances. This step will take some time to get used to. If necessary, ask a friend or family member to help you work on a budget.
Follow Your Credit Score
Keeping tabs on what’s affecting your credit score can help you improve it. Get a recent copy of your credit score from all three credit bureaus. It will give you some perspective on whether your credit history is good or bad. Once you know your score and what’s affecting it, you can take steps to improve it.
Discuss Joint Debts with Your Ex
You may have already addressed this issue during your divorce. If not, discuss any joint debts you have with your ex. You’ll never completely control your credit if you still have open accounts with your ex. Their actions will continue to affect your credit score after your divorce. For instance, if your ex fails to pay bills on time, it will negatively affect you.
Change Last Name Before Getting New Credit
This only applies if you’re planning to change your last name legally. Many women decide to switch back to their maiden name. If you do this before opening any new account, your new ones will be issued in the legal representation you’ll use going forward. You can also contact your existing creditors and have your name changed on those accounts. Your credit score is linked to your social security number, but you’ll be able to put your new name on all your debts, accounts, etc.
Get Your Own Credit
As you begin rebuilding your credit, you’ll eventually be able to get your own credit card. The key to building good credit is to show that you can handle credit responsibly. Once you secure your credit and begin using it, make sure you pay the bill on time every month. Also, keep your credit card balance below 30% of the credit limit.
St. Louis Divorce Attorney
St. Louis family law issues can affect just about any aspect of your life, from your financial situation, to where you are going to live or even how much time you will have to spend with your minor children. With so much at stake, you should not settle for less than the best legal representation possible. While you may hear that an attorney is unnecessary for certain situations, you should never take that risk when the well-being of your family is on the line. Feel free to contact our law firm to discuss your case today.
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