Credit score

How will divorce affect my credit score?

Q. I will be divorcing in about 10 weeks. My husband and I have several credit cards. Some are on our behalf and others as authorized users on the accounts of others. None is a joint account. We both have excellent credit ratings and no credit card debt. How can we part ways without hurting our credit ratings?

— Credit concerned

A. Congratulations on having great credit scores and no credit card debt.

There is no easy answer here because credit rating is not an exact science.

Your credit score involves a myriad of factors and moving parts that work in tandem to create your credit score, said Amber Leach, certified divorce financial analyst at Equitable Advisors/RICH Planning Group in Morristown.

She said being aware of these factors, monitoring your score and working to improve your score can help.

Your credit age, payment history, and credit utilization rate — which is a comparison of your available credit to the amount of credit you’re using — are among the factors.

When an authorized user is removed, the overall available credit will be lower, which will affect the credit utilization rate, Leach said.

And if you come out of certain maps with a longer story, you may also see a ding on your score.

But if you continue to make full and on-time payments, it probably won’t be long before your scores return to their original level.

“While you are divorcing, removing your ex-spouse as an authorized user of your credit facilities may be part of the financial separation process,” she said, noting that it is also prudent to obtain new account numbers on your credit cards.

Send your questions to [email protected].

Karin Price Mueller writes the Bamboos column for NJ Advance Media and is the founder of NJMoneyHelp.com. Follow NJMoneyHelp on Twitter @NJMoneyHelp. To find NJMoneyHelp on Facebook. Register for NJMoneyHelp.comit is weekly e-newsletter.