Does Divorce Affect Credit Rating?

A common question that people ask about divorce and finances is: will the split affect their credit rating? The act of getting divorced in itself will not affect any credit scores, as people’s marital status is not generally included on their credit reports. However, the process of disentangling joint finances or dividing assets could potentially have quite a significant effect.


The divorce decree ruling provided by the court formally acknowledges that the couple wishes to part and details the various financial arrangements in place, These can include income and earnings, savings, trusts, pensions and loans and credit agreements. It can also lay out which spouse is responsible for paying back any loans or credit taken out during the marriage.


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Paying back credit and loans

For example, if a car has been obtained via a loan in both parties’ names, the decree will state who keeps the vehicle and who is responsible for naming any outstanding payments on it. The problem with that is that if one party does not pay back their part of the loan, the other person’s credit rating could suffer. This is because creditors don’t have to honour divorce agreements and can come after all people named on the loan agreement for their money.


Joint credit accounts can also stay on a credit report long after the marriage or civil partnership has been legally ended. This can be problematic if the other party regularly misses or make late payments, or takes out new debt, such as putting new purchases on a joint credit card before it can be paid off in full and cancelled. Missed child maintenance payments can also have an adverse effect on credit rating when the non-payer is given a liability order and taken to court by the other parent.

How to protect your credit rating

This may sound worrying, but the good news is that there are several things you can do to help protect your credit rating while the divorce process is taking place. Close joint credit cards as soon as you can, making paying off the outstanding credit on them a priority in your budgeting. Remove your spouse as a named user of any cards held solely in your name.


Freeze your credit reports with the main credit reporting agencies. This is to prevent your ex-partner from taking out new credit in your name fraudulently. Once you no longer share a financial obligation with your ex-partner, you can apply to the credit rating agencies to have the association removed from your report. This is known as a notice of disassociation.


Try and discuss your options around protecting both of your credit reports with your spouse. If things can remain amicable, this could be the most effective solution. Divide the contents of any joint bank accounts and open separate ones for each person. Discuss how you are going to deal with a joint mortgage, as well as any car loans, personal loans, phone contracts or hire purchase agreements. A family solicitor or financial advisor can offer third-party unbiased advice to help both parties come to a suitable agreement.

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Our professional and highly experienced team of family lawyers can assist you in your legal matters with full respect, ensuring you maintain a private family life. For more extensive advice and information, please email or call us 02076299905 or book an initial online consultation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The act of getting divorced will not automatically affect your credit rating, any more than your original marriage or civil partnership did. Certain financial associations will be affected, such as joint loans, mortgages, hire purchased agreements or contracts. If you or our ex-partner miss or are late with a payment, this could affect both of your credit reports adversely and lower your credit score.

Lenders and other providers of financial services use your credit rating to assess how well you can manage loans, credit and other means of credit. If you can prove that you are able to keep up with regular payments and use credit responsibly, lenders are more likely to extend you further funds when you need them. It can also help you prove that you are responsible when looking for a new job or applying for a mortgage.

Your credit rating is calculated by a score by companies called credit rating agencies. The higher your score, the more effectively you are managing your credit and the better your rating will be. You can find out what your score is by visiting the credit rating agencies’ websites. The three main ones are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

Keep a regular eye on your credit rating so that you can take quick action if anything unexpected crops up. Prioritise paying off your debts when budgeting and always keep up with all credit and loan payments. Separate any joint finances still held with your ex-partner as soon as you can and apply for a notice of disassociation if necessary to formally remove their connection with you from your credit report.

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