Credit! House Vs. Credit Cards

Updated on November 29, 2012
I.G. asks from Sacramento, CA
8 answers

I am going through a divorce and while married to my ex we had so much debt that it wasn't even funny. However, we tried our best to pay it off and at least during our marriage I did take care of my things. I even paid off a card that was under both of our names and he was the one that used it up. Just this last august, a month after I decided to separate, I finish paying everything of my report. I made sure I paid everything in full NOT a settlement and I am current with my student loans. Before I defaulted on my loans and everything else I made sure I didn't use anymore cards. After my last payment to my last card I've been scare to run my credit but curious to know if it’s improved. I’ve received a few offers in the mail to apply for new credit cards but again I’ve been scared. I had this notion that I could not do anything with my credit because the divorce process could affect me. My lawyer recently explained to me my credit and my divorce were 2 different things and it was ok for me to try to buy a house to live in. Those were our plans before separating and after the separation...well they are still my plans. I want to buy a home for my son and myself! I work at a bank and I spoke with the mortgage rep and kind of told her my situation as far as credit and for tax purposes my personal life...she discourage me because she is saying it will be a while before I get qualified for a home and that I'm better off applying for a credit card right now. I don't know if this is true because last time we (husband and self) ran our scores to see where we were at in April of this year and even with some things in collections I still had a 599 credit score...Does anyone out there know any different. I am in the state of California. Any information is appreciated. Thank you in advance.

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answers from Kansas City on

ugh do NOT listen to a BANK employee about credit!! her JOB is to earn interest for her company. her JOB is to loan people money, not to HELP them, to GET THEIR MONEY. her interests are NOT yours. she probably means well but she is not "trained" to look out for YOU.

you do NOT need a credit card. do not do not do not. spend $100 instead on Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. it will be life changing for you. you can also get his books and cd's on amazon or any other bookseller. trust me, it will open your eyes!

please do this. you are in such a delicate position - the next few months will make you or break you.

do your own research, figure out what will help YOU. don't listen to people whose job is to take peoples' money, do NOT listen to credit card companies. they are not looking out for you.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I don't know how a divorce would affect your credit unless in the settlement you get stuck with some of joint debt that is past due.

I do know quite a bit about credit scores.

With a credit score of 599 it will be very difficult for you to qualify for a mortgage. However, that's just a small part of it, other things include income, employment, down payment, etc.

You're entitled to a free credit report once a year from each of the credit card bureaus. This does not include your score, however, you can pay a fee to obtain your score. It's a good idea to obtain a report periodically.

Applying for a loan or a credit card can decrease your credit score. This is only a slight hit.

The major things that effect your credit score include timely payments. One late payment and your score can take a substantial hit. Also, the ratio between the amount of credit available compared to the balance on your account. This should be kept below 30%. So if you have a card with a $1,000 limit, you should never charge over $300 on that card.

So if your goal is to buy a house, you should be putting funds into savings on a weekly basis. Also, you should get a credit card and use it wisely to help build up your credit score. If you feel that you're not disaplined enough with a credit card, then don't get one.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

A 599 credit score will NOT qualify you for a mortgage loan. You can get your credit scores free once a year on line. I would do that and see where you stand now.

You want a credit score of at least 700, 750 would be better, before trying to buy a home. The better your credit score, the better interest rate you'll get.

If you are still low, and I bet you are, it would be in your best interest to get a credit card now, and pay it in full each month. In about a year, your score should be significantly improved and then look into the mortgage loan.

Please also understand that just because the debt was assigned to him in the divorce, if he doesn't pay, the creditors can and will come after you for the money. They extended credit to both of you. They can legally collect from either of you. If they collect a debt from you that was assigned to your ex in the divorce, then it will be up to you to get the money back from him. So, you need to hope that he pays his share of the debts.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Well I don't think the mortgage rep is trying to get your money. Sounds like a helpful work 'friend'. I know so many people are against credit cards but if used responsibly it won't hurt your credit. We are a debt free family. I use a credit card for everything monthly. It is also paid off monthly. I just received $840.00 check free money for all my points etc. If you know you can use the card and pay it off every month then I think it will help your credit. I know a friend who's son is about 24 makes good money but can't buy a truck because he has no credit. They want to give him a higher rate with no credit. I personally think a low balance credit card will help your credit as long as you have the willpower to pay it off monthly. Your mortgage friend has nothing to gain by you getting a credit card since your not getting through her. But don't do a credit card if you feel you will rack up charges and not pay it. It does show good faith even if you make a monthly payment. Good luck I hope. It all works out for you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I suggest trying to raise your credit scores before applying for a mortgage--the higher your credit scores, the lower your interest rate, so you'll save TONS of money if your scores are higher. Now, I don't know if that entails applying for a new credit card, and also suggest that you look into the Dave Ramsey info that Adansmama proposed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

You can sign up completely free on to keep tab on your credit score. It also gives you tips for improving it. You just have to ignore the deals they are offering you.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

I can't actually say that I understand your post, to be honest. That's okay. What I do want to say is that your lawyer should be absolutely sure that you are not under any obligation to cover any debt of your husband's at this point in time and after. You should have NO joint credit cards with him. You SHOULD have a credit card in your own name. You should use it judiciously with the express purpose of creating a GOOD credit history in your own name, separate of that of your husband.

What that means is that you pay things with your credit card that you would pay with cash, ONLY. Buy nothing that is extra. You pay that card off every single month. Never run a balance. You must be strong. You eat LESS and don't have cable and you have a cheap cell phone that you buy minutes on before you use that card to "live off of" and run a balance.

It IS important to have a credit card. I would make sure you have one before you think about buying a house.

I would not rush into buying a house either. Like I told another poster earlier, homeownership is SO expensive. You have no idea when a problem will crop up that is like a big ol' hole in your budget. Just when you think you have all the kinks ironed out in your house, something else comes up. And you never know when your property will depreciate and you are stuck with an upside down property.

Just because your attorney says you CAN do something doesn't mean that you have to. Take your time, do things right. Don't get stuck with too much debt. A home is the most debt you'll ever have in your lifetime.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I had done the same thing before I bought my house and when you go through the some loan companies like Providence or other ones they can help you and push through the information to Credco to clean up your credit and get your credit score raised. You usually show the prove that you have paid things off or get letters stating you have settled etc from the companies you owed money too.

The banks just give you the loan and own the home, but the loan companies help you through the process of buying the home if that makes sense?

Good luck as I think it is possible.

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