How will getting divorced affect my credit score?


Q. I will be getting divorced in about 10 weeks. My husband and I have several credit cards. Some are in our own name, and some as authorized users on each other’s accounts. None are joint accounts. We both have great credit scores and no credit card debt. How can we remove each other without it hurting our credit scores?

— Credit concerned

A. Congratulations on having great credit scores and no credit card debt.

There’s no easy answer here as credit scoring is not an exact science.

Your credit score involves a myriad of factors and moving parts that work in tandem to create your credit score, said Amber Leach, a certified divorce financial analyst with Equitable Advisors/R.I.C.H. Planning Group in Morristown.

She said being aware of these factors, monitoring your score and working to improve your score can help you.

The age of your credit, your payment history and your credit utilization ratio — which is a comparison of your available credit to how much of your credit you’re using — are among the factors.

When an authorized user is removed, the overall credit available will be lower, affecting the credit utilization ratio, Leach said.

And if you get off of some cards with a longer history, you may also see a ding on your score.

But if you continue to make payments in full and on time, it probably won’t be long before your scores are back to where they used to be.

“As you are getting a divorce, removing your ex spouse as an authorized user on your credit facilities can be part of the process of financial separation,” she said, noting that it’s prudent to get new account numbers on your credit cards, too.

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