Will my filing hurt my husband’s or wife’s credit?

If I file bankruptcy and my husband or wife does not file, will my filing hurt his or her credit?

The short answer is no in most cases.  Since a credit report is an individual matter, one person can have a very good credit score while his wife’s or her husband’s credit score is very low.  When a credit check is performed by a lender or bank or by a department store, the check is perfomed on one person based upon his or her credit history and his or her social security number.  Thus, a bankrupcy by one spouse will not show up on his wife’s or her husband’s credit score.

This is the case even if the married couple have joint debts as long as the non-filing spouse stays current on his or her debts.  However, if there is a co-signed debt and after one person files, his or her spouse does not pay the debt timely, then that debt is shown as being paid late on the credit report which will adversely effect non-filing spouse’s credit score.

The most important thing to keeping a high credit score is not over extending one’s monthly payment obligations and paying all debts timely.  So many times we find that if a husband or wife is considering bankruptcy, then the couple will be better off by filing jointly to get a fresh start for the both of them.  This is especially true since the cost of filing a bankruptcy is usually the same for a husband and wife filing as a couple as it would be for one of them to file by himself or herself.

Another mistake we find people making is assuming that bankruptcy will hurt their credit when that person’s credit is already in very bad shape.  For example: multiple finance company loans (by refinancing with the same loan company over and over) and maxed out credit cards have already seriously hurt a person’s credit score and that person does not realize that has happened.

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