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Divorce impacts so many aspects of life. For many women one of the unexpected aftereffects of divorce is the deterioration of credit standing. Because credit standing will effect your future it is crucial to act proactively and preemptively to protect or improve credit.  

Determine where you are:   Moving into your future is easier if you understand your present.  Obtain your credit report from all three reporting agencies; Tran Union  , Equifax, and Experian. Check the reports for accuracy. Is the information on the report accurate?  Also check the reports to ascertain what FICO score.  Having a good FICO score will be crucial to obtaining future credit.  Your FICO score may also be used when attempting to obtain a rental, insurance and or employment.  The Fair Credit Reporting Act, which is a federal law, requires credit reporting agencies to provide a free report to consumers once every 12 months.  The report must be provided free of charge in the event that negative action is taken based upon a credit report.  Negative action can include but is not limited to denial of credit , insurance and employment.  

* Know your rights and options:* The fair credit reporting act as well as state laws have been put in place to protect consumers; you have rights.  Take the time to understand your legal rights and options. The Fair Credit Reporting Act is available on the net.  Also check with your states'  attorney generals office, consumer protection department to learn more about laws in  your state.  

Show and tell:  Many creditors are willing to work with consumers who are experiencing life changes such as divorce. Be proactive, contact creditors as early in the process to discuss possible options.  Tell them about the changes in your situation, inquire about options. Some options to consider include alternative payment arrangements, reduction of interest rate, and consolidation of debt.  

Change your lifestyle :  While it may seem obvious, it is impossible to maintain the same lifestyle and spending habits when there is a drastic reduction in income.  Don't dig yourself into a credit hole. Develop a new household budget based upon the current situation and stick to it.  

Take steps to fix negative credit: Start by contacting creditors that have made negative reports. Is the creditor willing to remove the negative mark from your credit report? In the event that reported information is inaccurate, incomplete or otherwise in dispute,   write a dispute letter to the reporting agency. The Fair Credit Reporting Agency requires that incorrect information be removed from your report.  

Build or reestablish your own credit history:  Many women fail to build their own credit during marriage. In order to obtain future credit, it is imperative to build a credit in your own name. Start by obtaining a low interest, modest limit  credit card.

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