The divorce is over. The children are adjusting, and you are ready to begin your life as a single mother. When you attempt to buy your first solo house, however, you discover that your credit took a nosedive during the divorce. Post-divorce credit repair is an important step to getting your life back on track. Whether your credit got dinged for non-payment of bills, or you never had credit in your own name during the marriage, it can be fixed.
Determine what shape your credit is in. This can be done by contacting the three major credit reporting agencies and asking for copies of your credit report. Equifax,
TransUnion and Experian all maintain important information about your bill payment history. If you apply for a credit card and are turned down, you have the legal right to obtain free copies of your credit report.
Examine the reports and dispute any discrepancies. If you do not owe the debt, write a letter to the credit agency reporting it and dispute the debt. They will notify the debtor of the dispute, and the debtor will have to prove your obligation or remove it from your report.
Pay off the debts you do owe. While it will still show that it was paid late on your credit report, it will demonstrate to future creditors that you make good on your debts and take care of them as soon as you can.
Notify the credit agencies of any debts your ex-husband was ordered to pay that are showing as late or no-pays on your report. You request the agency place a letter in your report, explaining that your ex was supposed to pay the bill. You can also ask the credit agency to put a copy of the divorce decree in the file as well.
Start building credit in your own name. If you cannot obtain a non-secured credit card in your own name, consider obtaining a credit card secured by a savings account. Use the card to make a few small purchases each month, and pay them off before the grace period expires.
Check your credit report again, every three months. You will be able to see if your secured card payments are being reported and whether your successfully disputed items have been removed from your credit report.
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