As much as you might prefer to ignore your joint credit cards during your divorce proceedings, it’s important to maintain your payments. Unfortunately, you’re both responsible for the debt, and how you handle these cards will affect both of your credit scores for years to come.
Consider these important tips about your joint credit cards:
￼￼￼Understand the original credit card agreement.￼￼￼
A divorce can’t cancel your original agreement, and you still owe the debt. However, your divorce agreement can specify who will pay off the debt.
￼￼￼Consider closing joint credit card accounts.￼￼￼
You may be able to divide them up and transfer the debt to new accounts.
￼￼￼Continue to make payments during a divorce.￼￼￼
Late payments, fees, and higher interest will hurt both of you. The credit card company will go after both of you to collect a debt because it’s a joint account.
￼￼￼Create a clear repayment plan.￼￼￼
You can use your divorce agreement to make a detailed credit card repayment plan.
￼￼￼Consider filing for bankruptcy only as a last resort.￼￼￼
If you need to eliminate the debt in this way, both of you must file for bankruptcy. If one of you doesn’t file, then the credit card company can, and will, pursue that person.
￼￼For your own benefit, it’s important to set aside your relationship differences to focus on the financial aspects of these debts. Down the road, you’ll both be glad you took care these cards responsibly.
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