Spousal credit repair?
October 20, 2009 11:51 AM   Subscribe

What is the best way to help my spouse improve her credit?

My wife has bad credit due to her irresponsible ex-husband and their divorce. My credit is average. I have a credit card that I pay off month. I have yet to add her to my credit card. We're also about to buy a new car. Any recommendations?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The best thing you can do to repair your credit is to let the bad stuff age and make sure that every single thing that you do from this moment forward is good. This includes: opening new lines of credit and paying on them promptly each month, adding her to your credit card and making prompt payments each month, and making sure that credit balances stay under 30% of their credit limits.
posted by scarykarrey at 11:53 AM on October 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

buy that Credit Repair for Dummies book. great, basic info in there.
posted by bunny hugger at 12:15 PM on October 20, 2009

I always recommend The Motley Fool, particularly their message boards. They have a great, strong community and a lot of knowledge about credit and debt etc.
posted by restless_nomad at 12:18 PM on October 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

It kind of depends on what your goals are and how bad her credit is messed up? Are we talking bankruptcy or foreclosure, repos, or just a lot of credit card debt that is slowing being paid off?

Do you need her income for the car? If not buy it in your name and then add her later. If you have good credit above 720 and she is way low, you don't want her on the car loan if you can afford it. It will make a big difference on your rate.

Time fixes most problems, as long as you are on time with any future payments. Like what scraykarrey wrote. Start slow with one new joint card.

If you aren't looking to buy a house anytime soon you should be able to slowly rebuild everything.

But remember credit isn't everything. It just means that you can borrow money at lower interest rate. It is always better to save and not pay any interest. But then life happens and you need money.
posted by benk at 11:47 AM on October 21, 2009

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