3 Money Myths Couples Should Stop Believing

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credit
Be careful — these are some of the biggest misconceptions couples have about credit.

Marriage Credit Myth #3: Divorce absolves me of my spouse's debt.
This is one of the most common myth in the world of consumer credit. When you apply jointly for credit you are about as stuck as you can be. And, the process of divorce isn't going to help you. In fact, it's much easier to divorce your spouse than it is to divorce your lenders.

Here's the takeaway ... a divorce decree does not supersede the original contract with your creditor. So while the judge might tell you to pay the joint car loan and your ex-spouse to pay the joint mortgage, you're both still equally liable for the payments.

 

This can cause problems several ways. First, when you apply for anything down the road, the joint debt is still going to be considered your debt. This means any measurement of your debt-to-income ratio will include joint debts, even after divorce.  Second, your credit scores are still going to consider these joint debts because they'll still be on your credit reports. This can lead to lower scores because having debt, especially credit card debt, isn't usually a good thing for your credit scores.

Finally, if for some reason your ex-spouse can't or won't make the payments on the joint credit account, the late payments are going to show up on your credit reports as well as his or her credit reports. That also means lower credit scores — for both of you. And with a divorce rate somewhere near 50 percent, this is why I always advise that you maintain credit independence even after you get married.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.