5 steps to protect credit in a divorce
Create a post-divorce budget
Don't take on more obligations than you can handle in the divorce agreement or your credit could suffer. Remember: You're moving from a dual-income household to a single-income budget, says Ann Estes, president of the Atlantic and Heartland regions for ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions.
"You need to make tough choices," she says.
Housing costs should take top consideration in your new budget. That includes a mortgage payment, along with property taxes, insurance and maintenance, or rent -- and don't forget the security deposit and renters insurance. Utilities and phone also fall under this category.
Then factor in other obligations: credit cards, auto payments, personal loans and any other insurance costs. If you find that you're close to your limit, consider what can be cut: cable, a premium cellphone plan or other luxuries.