While not all divorces are acrimonious or heart-wrenching, you may need something to distract you from the emotional toll that often accompanies the end of a marriage. If your credit score is not as high as you would like, you may choose to direct your efforts toward repairing your finances. After all, good credit is usually essential for securing post-divorce financial freedom.
According to the consumer credit reporting company Experian, divorce does not affect credit by itself. Instead, credit scores sometimes nosedive because of the financial difficulties that often pop up before, during and immediately after divorce. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to fix a credit score after a divorce concludes. Here are three of them:
1. Request a copy of your credit report
You may not realize that your creditworthiness is not where it should be. Or, you may be nervous to know where your score stands. Either way, you can only develop a plan for rebuilding credit if you have a starting point. Therefore, following your divorce, you should request a copy of your credit report. Federal law allows you to receive a free one from each of the three major reporting companies every single year.
2. Set a budget
It can be tempting to try to spend one’s way to happiness after a divorce. That may be a mistake, though. Instead, consider trying to live within your means or a bit below them. By setting up a budget, you can ensure you have enough money to meet your monthly expenditures. Further, you may be able to set aside a bit of cash every month for emergencies.
3. Cancel joint accounts
Sometimes, divorced partners continue to have joint credit cards or checking accounts for a few months or years. If you do not want to be responsible for your ex-spouse’s spending habits, though, close joint accounts as soon as possible. If you fail to do so, your credit may move in the wrong direction.
Working on your post-divorce credit may not only be an effective way to secure financial freedom, but it may also be a proactive approach to managing your emotions. With a bit of diligence, you can use your divorce as motivation to repair credit damage.