5 Ways your ex could mess up your credit.

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Relationships are tough, and we all go through break-ups and heartache at some time in our life, or even have a marriage that ends. But if breaking up is hard to do, then repairing your credit after an ex-husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, or romantic partner mess it up can be even more difficult.
The important of protecting and rehabilitating your credit score is even more important after a divorce, when there’s often contentious feelings on both sides that render the separation of personal finances extremely messy. In fact, with joint credit cards, auto loans, and mortgages that hold both parties totally liable, what happens next is often in the hands of your ex – or, at least subject to their cooperation.
It’s not unheard of for people to do so drastic and downright nasty things financially after a romantic separation just to sabotage the other person’s credit!
So, here are 5 ways your ex could really mess up your credit:
1. Joint accounts
2. The mortgage
3. More debt
4. The car(s)
5. Identity theft
1. Joint accounts
When you’re married, the debt you incur most likely will be the responsibility of both parties in the couple, and therefore show up on both credit reports. The laws and regulations on joint debt varies by state but expect to be beholden to the debt (and on-time payments) of all credit cards, loans and accounts taken out as a married couple. Even if you just opened a joint credit card as a boyfriend-girlfriend, that responsibility doesn’t end just because your romance is over.
So, the scary fact is that your ex can do some serious damage to your credit. They took the credit card and charged up a nice vacation in Cabo including buying shots for everyone at Senor Frogs? Sorry, that’s still your new (joint) debt, too. They missed a payment or didn’t submit their half of the payment (if that’s your tenuous arrangement)? That excuse won’t help you when the late payment hits your credit report, too!
Ouch! Your ex just broke your heart AND messed up your credit!
2. The mortgage
If you’re already feeling vulnerable and even under your ex’s thumb because of the joint credit cards, wait until we discuss the home loan!
Instead, a mortgage is a complex and often difficult debt to separate after a divorce or split-up, with no quick and easy fact. In fact, a leading cause of foreclosure is divorce!
Sure, you can both call up the mortgage servicer and please your case, but they surely won’t just take one person off the home loan and assign it 100% to the other partner. Nope, both of you are still liable for the mortgage debt, for better or for worse, and the lender isn’t going to forgo that contract and take on double the risk by stripping one borrower of the debt liability.
So, a refinance where one person qualifies on their own and possibly “buys out” the other person with equity, or an outright home sale is usually the solution. Unfortunately, that means your ex can seriously screw you over if they stop paying their half of the mortgage until that happens.
3. More debt
Just when you thought this break up wasn’t messy enough, you get a letter in the mail, an email, or a call from your bank. Apparently, your ex has been applying for even more debt and opening new accounts…under both of your names! Until the ink is dry on your divorce decree, you’re still legally liable for any debts incurred as a couple, so the situation could easily go from bad to worse to a complete dumpster fire very quickly.
Even if you weren’t married but had a joint credit card, joint debt, or were authorized users on a credit card, the Big Mistake aka your ex can keep charging and racking up debt, maxing out your cards and accounts.
4. The cars
Once you figure out the mortgage and the credit cards, there’s still that big overblown debt obligation sitting in the driveway to deal with: the car. Both of your names on the title is one thing – which signifies ownership and is easy to remove, but removing your name and responsibility from the auto loan is a completely different animal. Once again, if your ex is feeling hurtful and wants to sabotage your financial picture just to spite you, they can do this with the auto loan, too.
In some states, you may even be sued for damages if your name is still on title and your ex gets in an accident even months later. That’s messed up!
5. Identity theft
Identity theft and financial fraud is rampant these days, nearly doubling in prevalence every year. In fact, nearly half of Americans are compromised by data hacks and leaks every year, one in six will be a victim of identity theft or fraud this year, and about one-third of all credit reports have incorrect or mistaken items.
That’s scary enough during the good times when you and your ex were staying in on Saturday nights to cook lasagna and play Scrabble, but the potential for funny business with your finances and credit are magnified exponentially upon a breakup.
Not only do you have to worry about hackers and fraudster, but your account numbers, passwords, and security questions are all in the hands of your ex. That’s downright scary!
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The good news is that you’re not alone, many people go through these difficult financial choices due to a breakup. And Blue Water Credit is always here to help you navigate any situation in terms of your credit report and scoring, including complimentary consultations and help rehabilitating your score if your ex does mess it up!
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