Divorce Credit Report - Why It's a Good Idea to Get a Credit Report for Divorce
Be careful or your Ex-Spouse may affect your credit even after divorce. If possible, get your credit report for divorce and close your joint credit obligations now, before the divorce is final. Make it a priority because after divorce there may no longer be a judge in place to force the other party to take such action.
By the way, joint accounts are those that are opened in the name of both husband and wife, and because both parties have signed the loan documents, then both parties are liable for the loan, and the payment history will be reported on both credit reports. In an individual account, only one party has opened the account with the lender, and the payment history is only reported on the credit report of the one who opened the account.
For joint account credit, this means that even if a judge decrees in the divorce proceeding that the joint obligation is to be the sole responsibility of the other spouse to pay, the obligation may still be reported on both credit reports. That means that when the spouse who is responsible for payment misses a payment, the late payment history gets reported on both credit reports, not just the credit report of the spouse who was appointed as the responsible party by the divorce judge.
So pay attention in your credit report for divorce, and try to close all joint accounts prior to the final divorce decree. Unfortunately lenders may not be willing to close joint accounts if there are still balances due. In such case perhaps the lender will close the account and re-open the account as individual accounts with the liability for the amount due allocated to the two parties as the two parties agree or the judge specifies.
Another touchy subject is what to do if the other spouse is an authorized user on individual account of one of the spouses. As an authorized user, that spouse can charge on the credit account but is not liable for the charges. So the individual responsible for the loan may still be billed for the credit charged by the other spouse as an authorized user even after divorce until the authorized user arrangement is terminated.
So the second priority after reviewing your credit report for divorce, is to close any of your individual account that have your spouse as an authorized user so the other party cannot continue to charge on your credit card. Or at least take action to remove the authorized user from the account.
When considering credit reports for divorce, be advised that you can only get your own credit report, and without permission from your spouse, you cannot get a credit report on them. Best way to handle this is probably have each spouse get their divorce credit reports separately, and then they can exchange them so all parties have full visibility to their financial situation. Of course divorces are not always amicable, so exchanging credit reports may not be an option. In any case it is not advisable to get a credit report for divorce on your spouse without having a legal permissible purpose to obtain the report.
When reviewing the divorce credit report, look for new accounts the other party may have opened recently so that such accounts are adjudicated in the divorce filing. Also be alert to recent inquiries which may show more potentially new accounts and hence new liabilities.
The credit report for divorce you obtain may also show address history and/or employment information, which in a contentious divorce, may not be known by the other party to the divorce. In such cases it may not be advisable to share the information with the other spouse if there are restraining orders or other such reasons.
Divorce credit report:
Q. Should I get a credit report for divorce from all 3 credit bureaus?
A. Absolutely get all three bureaus so you have all the credit accounts, collections, public records and such that are being reported about you. By getting all 3 bureaus you are getting the most thorough report possible. Credit report from all 3 credit bureaus as part of a credit monitoring subscription.
Q. Where do I get my divorce credit report?
A. You can get your own 3 bureau credit report as part of a paid credit report monitoring subscription that will update your 3 credit reports and scores quarterly, plus monitor your credit. Getting your credit report quaterly can be invaluable before, during and after divorce in order to make sure your ex-spouse is not adversly affecting your credit in ways you did not expect.
Or you can get your own free credit report yearly at AnnualCreditReport.com.