Folks often wonder if filing for a bankruptcy will affect their spouse’s credit rating and the answer is two-fold. On the one hand, if your spouse is not on the credit card account or loan etc., the bankruptcy may not affect your spouses’ credit, however, many couples file joint applications and in that case, even as a co-signor, your spouse may be affected.
There is no foolproof way of knowing to what extent a co-signer’s credit is affected until after the filing has been submitted. The best way to protect your spouse’s credit if they are in fact a co-signor is to meet your payment obligations on any account for which your spouse is listed as a co-signor.
It’s important to note that while your spouse may or may not be affected by your bankruptcy filing, your actual ability to file will be weighed against any income attributed to your spouse. Essentially, your spouse’s income will be taken into account and may affect your ability to file as that income is included in the “Means Test” required for the bankruptcy filing.
To be safe; the best thing that you can do is pull each of your credit reports before you make the transition to filing. The reason for the latter is that you or your spouse may not even recall who signed for what credit card or loan and in this case, you’ll want to make sure that your spouse is not on the accounts that you will want to include in the bankruptcy filing. To be specific, it is best to pull both your credit report and your spouse’s credit report in the event that something may have been reported under one name and not on the other name.
For more information or answers to your bankruptcy concerns, it is always best to speak to an attorney.