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If you opened any joint credit accounts while married and have since been divorced, those accounts and credit history might still be on your credit report. Even if you came to an agreement with your ex-spouse that they would pay off the account, unless otherwise negotiated with the lender, you are still liable and it still appears on your credit report.
That means that if there are late payments made by your former spouse, accounts become delinquent or go into collections, your credit score will suffer. Upon a divorce, you should figure these items out and contact lenders to try and reach an agreement where your name is removed from an account. Until this is done you are still on the hook, even if your ex-wife or husband is the one who defaults.
That is why it is a good idea to keep up with credit reports online during the months after a divorce to make sure your score does not take an unnecessary hit. Requesting a written report can take up to 15 days for the document to be sent to you. But dealing with the issue online by obtaining reports via the Internet with a service like Identity Guard® provides you faster access to the information you need.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|