Sample Credit Repair Letter for Items in Credit Reports Belonging to a Former Spouse
One of the major casualties of divorce is the damage incurred to both party’s credit. Not only do you incur the expense of divorce proceedings and attorneys, but divorce can send you spiraling into bankruptcy. Until your former spouse’s information is completely irradiated from your credit file, his or her mistakes with money can also reflect on your credit score. This is why it is advisable to take the following steps sooner rather than later.
Obtain an updated and legitimate credit report from all three credit reporting agencies as your first step to getting your former spouse’s information off your credit file. This is important because it establishes a starting point and tells you exactly which accounts are shared by you and your ex. You won’t need to worry about accounts that are solely in your name, but you will need to deal with the others.
Consider Your Relationship
If your divorce was amicable, this will be far easier to do. You’ll have your former spouse’s cooperation in getting his or her information off your credit file, and you won’t have to worry about cancelling all accounts and beginning anew. However, if your ex won’t speak to you or if you’ve parted on less-than-friendly terms, you’ll have to take matters into your own hands and do whatever is necessary.
Assuming that your former spouse is willing to work with you, ask him or her to contact all creditors on which your accounts are shared in both your names. You can decide in advance which accounts will remain in your name and which will go to your ex – it doesn’t matter except for personal preferences. In most cases, however, you won’t get your spouse removed from your credit file unless he or she is willing to do it “your way”.
Remove Your Own Name
If your former spouse refuses to aid your attempt to get his or her information off your credit file, you’ll need to remove your own name instead. This can significantly damage your credit score because you’ll be removing revolving credit, but it’s worth it in the long run if you are concerned about his or her credit practices. Simply ask creditors to remove your name from the account, and pay off any necessary balances.
The major problem comes when you have credit cards, for example, with large balances that need to be paid off before you can close the account or remove your name. For these situations, you’ll need to hire an experienced divorce attorney – or use the one you’ve already hired – to help settle debt disputes between you and your former spouse. This might take some time, so expect a damaged credit file once it’s all said and done.
Now that you’ve removed your former spouse’s information from your credit file, it’s time for damage control. In many cases, it will be like starting out again as a teenager with no credit, except that it can take longer to establish positive credit history. Talk to a credit counseling service if you are unsure about how to proceed.
Your Street Address
Your City, State ZIP Code
Credit Bureau Name
Their Street Address
Their City, State ZIP Code
Dear Credit Bureau,
I am requesting an immediate investigation of the items listed below. These items are not my accounts or inquiries, they belong to my former spouse, (Spouse’s Name) Please remove them immediately to reflect my true and accurate credit history. These inaccuracies are highly injurious to my credit rating.
Reason you are disputing this item goes here!
In addition, I did not authorize the following credit inquiries. Please remove them immediately.
Date of Inquiry
Please forward me an updated credit report after you have completed your investigation and corrections.
Your cooperation and prompt attention are greatly appreciated.