Do I have to get my own credit cards before we get divorced?


Q. My husband and I are going to separate. He was the biggest earner and I realize most of the credit cards are in his name and I have a second card. My credit score is around 650. Should I apply for new cards just on my own behalf now or wait until we get a divorce?

– Thinking about it

A. We are sorry to hear about your divorce.

You are good at starting to plan for your credit future.

So yes, you should consider applying for a new card in just your name now, said Amber Leach, a certified divorce financial analyst at AXA Advisors / RICH Planning Group in Morristown.

Applying for a credit card now where household income is included for pre-approval makes sense to do so now, Leach said.

“First of all, having your own card will give you independence and control. Right now, if you are an authorized user under her name, you have no control over your credit and you are tied to your spouse’s creditworthiness, ”she said.

If you are considering a divorce, she said, the more steps you take to become independent now, the more it will work in your favor.

Leach said you would want your own credit card that is not tied to your ex-spouse so you can take control and have privacy while shopping.

“In the divorce process, you will need to create a budget, so the sooner you get a feel for your marital expenses and potential needs after the divorce, the better,” she said. “A credit card that you put all of your spending on can help you through this process. “

As an authorized user on your ex’s cards, you have been at the mercy of his creditworthiness.

“If your spouse is often late in their payments or has too many credits on various credit cards, then their digressions are hurting your credit as well,” Leach said.

Email your questions to [email protected].

Karin Price Mueller writes on Bamboo column for NJ Advance Media and is the founder of Follow NJMoneyHelp on Twitter @NJMoneyHelp. Find NJMoneyHelp on Facebook. Register for‘s weekly electronic newsletter.


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