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Don’t Let A Divorce Ruin Your Good Credit Rating!

In 1998, I divorced my husband and with that divorce came the normal splitting of property and assets. There also came a discussion regarding our credit card debt. Although, we were married for 5 years and did use the credit cards as a couple, only my name was on the credit cards. And suddenly my soon to be ex-husband’s recollection of shopping sprees, vacations, and prime rib dinners that we did together faded. Sadly, it became my responsibility to pay for the memories that we had created. And guess what? Those charges were on several high interest credit cards.

If you find yourself in a situation like this, don’t feel alone. Experts have seen a 20 percent rise in bankruptcy filings, and it is estimated that a large part of this is due to divorce. Luckily, if you find yourself in this situation, you will have several options. You could file for bankruptcy—as statistics show that many people are—but you should know that if you choose this option, the bad mark will stay on your credit report for ten years. Another option would be to simply make the payments. But many people, after experiencing a divorce, find that living on one income is a difficult adjustment after a divorce, and are forced to only make the minimum payments. That can make for a lot of debt. For example, if you had a debt of $25,000 at an average interest rate of 18%, it would be thirty-two years before you paid it off! You would be paying for those memories well up into your 60’s!

The other option is to seek professional help. There are several non-profit organizations that specialize in credit resolution, and many people seek this type of help following a divorce. Here’s how it works. For a small fee of around $14.00 per month they will analyze your credit card debt, living expenses and income in order to determine what type of repayment structure would best work for you. Then they contact your creditors and work with them regarding interest rates, late fees, and payment amounts. The credit card companies, who understand that divorce is one of the leading causes for bankruptcy, usually don’t have a problem working with the credit repair company. After all, they want their money!

Although, the non-profit agencies do not report credit counseling to credit bureaus, most credit card companies do. You may look at this as a negative, but many people don’t. Credit counseling can be explained a lot more easily than bankruptcy, which is often a deal stopper for someone trying to buy a home, or even purchase a car.

You won’t be allowed to retain a credit card when enrolled in a credit counseling program, but for most people who find themselves in this situation, that can be a relief. Think about it as you are cutting them up, piece by piece. I did. And with each chunk of plastic that fell in the trash, it was a chipping away of the old and a birth of the new. There’s a feeling of relief that comes over you when you know you don’t have to worry about those mounting credit card bills. And when going through a divorce, the more relief you can have, the better.

About the Author

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Related Links:

Minimize The Waves Of Divorce

Four Tips to Save Money in Your Divorce Case

Thinking About Divorce Or Ending Your Relationship What Do You Do First Do You Know Your Options

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