It is a sad truth, but many couples go through messy divorces that leave both parties as bitter enemies in the end. When this is the case, it is important to consider the potential damage that a disgruntled spouse could do to your credit. Armed with your Social Security number, birth date, and other financial details, an ex could potentially steal your identity and cause significant damage to your credit. Take steps to protect your identity.


iStock_000012618480_LargeAfter a contentious divorce, you should take a few steps to guard against any possible identity theft crimes before anything can happen. Sign up for credit monitoring that immediately alerts you to changes in your credit data. Be on the lookout for suspicious mail and signs that new accounts have been opened in your name. Change your online banking passwords and request that your account numbers are changed. If you suspect identity theft, contact the credit bureaus immediately and place a 90-day fraud alert on your credit reports.

Most importantly, simply be aware of your possible risk for identity theft. According to a 2013 identity theft survey by the Better Business Bureau, 50% of identity thieves turned out to be relatives, close friends, and neighbors of the victim. Denying that your ex could steal your identity may cause you to miss important early signs of fraud.

Going through a divorce can be very stressful. Trying to keep yourself together is hard enough without worrying about your financial situation. However, awareness of major risks to protect you, your credit report and your credit scores will be extremely helpful.

You do have the option to repair your credit report and make sure that all accounts are accurate and reporting properly. If the credit bureaus do not have a certain amount of paperwork in your files [for each account] then these accounts can be disputed. If you find yourself in the midst of negative reporting on your credit report then you should consider a credit repair service.


from the Divorce Lending Association