Rabu, 29 Februari 2012

Maintaining Borrowing Power after Divorce Can Be Difficult

Divorce can cause more than just emotional scars and a feeling of having failed. In fact, the effects of divorce can make your future unstable and insecure. The results of your pre-divorce payment history and the amount of debt you incur as part of the divorce settlement will have a tremendous impact on your ability to obtain a loan or even rent an apartment. Your financial security depends on you having borrowing power because with borrowing power you are able to obtain the things you need when you need them whether it's a new home or a new car. It doesn't matter whether your marriage required two incomes or whether you never had to worry about money: you still need to have borrowing power when you are on your own.

There are several factors that can put restrictions on your borrowing power and prevent you from obtaining the things you want or need. Some of the more detrimental factors including the following:

  • Unacceptable debt to income ratio

  • Insufficient or non-existent credit history

  • Low credit score

  • Poor credit

  • Insufficient or non-existent collateral

  • Credit history too recent to rate

These are certainly not the only credit-related effects of divorce you are likely to face, but they are the most common ones and those most likely to affect your borrowing power. You also need to keep in mind that even if you have good credit with your spouse, you may have difficulty obtaining individual credit after your divorce. Some effects of divorce will affect you negatively while others will have a positive effect. How much of an effect your joint credit with your spouse has on your future borrowing power depends on the individual creditor.

While you might think any negativity should remain with the person who is ordered to pay those debts, the reality is that a court order does not replace a binding contract. You don't have any worries as long as you ex-spouse makes the payments on the debts the court ordered him or her to pay, but if your ex-spouse fails to meet the terms of the order court the creditors will look to you for payment. The balances on those accounts will also affect your debt to income ratio.

In order to decrease potential effects of divorce on your borrowing power you and your spouse should each assume sole responsibility for the debts he or she is assigned by transferring those debts to an individual account. Each of you should apply for your own credit cards and do a balance transfer for those you are required to pay. Unfortunately this is a reasonable but unrealistic solution because in many cases the other spouse knows you will make the payments on those accounts if necessary as long as your name is on them.

In order to avoid the effects of divorce at a later time it's a good idea to begin establishing credit in your own name before the divorce is final. Those who established individual credit during the marriage will find it much easier to continue building on that good credit in order to begin life as a single person once again.

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