Why Divorce Disproportionately Affects Women’s Credit Score
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) prohibits lenders from using credit scores to discriminate on the basis of race, gender identity, age, and other factors. Even with these protections in place, many women still find their credit scores negatively affected after a divorce. Additionally, many women also find themselves struggling financially much more than their male counterparts after their divorce.
One big reason for this is the wage gap between men and women. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that women earned on average, nearly $200 less per week than their male counterparts. According to the US Census Bureau, there is data to support the finding that women who divorced in the last year earned substantially less income than recently divorced men. Additionally, in a survey by Experian, more than 50% of women reported that their credit score had declined after their divorce. Fortunately, when it comes to credit scores, there are some steps that women can take to better secure their financial future.
- Close any joint credit cards
- Make sure any credit cards that you still have open are solely in your name
- Freeze your credit reports with all reporting agencies
- Speak with your attorney about the best ways to separate any joint accounts or loans
Credit can be rebuilt over time, but it’s best to be vigilant and protect your credit at all times. If you have questions surrounding your divorce, Shah & Kishore can help. With a vast amount of knowledge on our side, our Maryland divorce attorney gives you the information you need and works to ensure your divorce process goes as smoothly as possible.