Divorce Agreements and Credit Reports

Pensive man at laptop in home office
Dear Experian,

My divorce agreement requires that I write a letter to the credit agencies stating that all pre-marital debt on my report is my responsibility. Where should I send this letter?

- GYR

Dear GYR,

You can upload your letter at www.experian.com/upload/, or you can mail it to the address provided on your personal Experian credit report. While you are welcome to send a letter, doing so will not have any bearing on your ex-spouse's credit report or his or her ability to obtain credit.

Divorce decrees are agreements between the divorcing couple and the court. They do not alter or void the contract with the creditor.

If the accounts or debts in question were opened prior to your getting married, it is possible that they were in your name only. If so, the accounts would only appear on your credit report and not your ex-spouse's. However, if your ex-spouse was later added to one or more accounts as a joint account holder, those accounts will likely appear on her report as well. Sending a letter will not cause joint accounts to be removed from her credit report.

If there are accounts that you and your ex-spouse wish to have removed from her report, one or both of you would have to contact those creditors directly and request that her name be removed from contractual responsibility. You might also provide your joint creditors with copies of the divorce agreement; however, keep in mind that creditors are not obligated to release any joint account holder from responsibility based on the divorce agreement.

In the event that your creditors are not willing to remove an account or debt from your ex-spouse's report, he or she would have the option to add a statement to the accounts in question explaining that they are not responsible for making payments on the debt as specified in the divorce decree.

Thanks for asking.
The "Ask Experian" team

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