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.
âFirst 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, âshe 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.
âIn 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,â she said. âA 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.
âIf 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,â Leach said.
Email your questions to [email protected].
Karin Price Mueller writes on Bamboo column for NJ Advance Media and is the founder of NJMoneyHelp.com. Follow NJMoneyHelp on Twitter @NJMoneyHelp. Find NJMoneyHelp on Facebook. Register for NJMoneyHelp.com‘s weekly electronic newsletter.