Find Out About Credit Cards in Your Name

The first thing that comes to mind when you hear this is that obviously one would already know how many credit cards he has opened. However, sometimes people open cards to benefit from the sign-on bonuses if they have a good score so one might not remember how many credit cards they have opened. Moreover, finding out credit cards in your name will save you from identity theft. It will also keep you aware about your finance position. So, knowing these multiple benefits of finding credit cards in your name, let’s find its answer.

Credit Cards in Your Name

Ways to find out about credit cards in your name

The easiest way to find out the credit cards in your name is through credit reports. They mention all the credit lines that have ever been opened in your name. 3 credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion that will annually provide you with full information collectively. You can get them free of charge from annualcreditreport.com.

What does a credit report contain?

Credit reports show current and previous information on different lines of credit in your name. It also mentions about the payments for each one so late payment will be shown. Moreover, the companies that viewed you information will be listed as well.

Time Lapse from Opening a Credit Card to having it Show Up

One would wonder about how updates the information will be. Well, there are no specific rules for the credit card issuers and bank to give information to those 3 agencies. They don’t even have to report about a credit line if they don’t want to. However, most of the creditors report to the bureaus. When a person opens a new line of credit in their name, the issuer tends to report it to the credit reporting agencies only some days after very first billing cycle is ended on that account. Generally speaking, the estimated time for this is thirty days after the person will receive the card through mail.

Are you responsible for credit card debt of your spouse?

Certain circumstances make you responsible for debt of your spouse. This depends on the following:

  • The place where you are living
  • If it was a joint credit card
  • If you are a cosigner for the credit card
  • If you are assigned the debt during your divorce

Your debt Liability in the Common Law States

Common rules are used my most of the states to determine the liability of debt in a marriage. These are called the common law states and according to them you will be held liable for only the credit cards in your name. So in normal circumstances you will not be responsible for any other debt. However, if you have some assets that are jointly owned with your spouse, then companies can go after them.

For a joint credit card, both of you will be equally liable. Same applies if you are a cosigner for your spouse’s card.

Additional policy for Community Property States

The community property states do not follow the common laws regarding spouse’s liability. These states can hold you responsible for any credit cards in your name or if you are a cosigner.

But besides this, if your spouse incurred any debts when you two were married, they will be deemed as community debts and both of you will liable equally. It won’t matter on whose name they were issued. However, it should be noted that if your spouse incurs any debt before marriage or after separation, that would not be included as a community debt.

Moreover, different states have different rules of including something as a community debt. Speaking in general, any debt that has been incurred and benefits your marriage will be considered as a community debt. On the contrary, if a debt only benefits your spouse than you will not be made liable for it.

At present certain states that follow these community rules include Wisconsin, Washington, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Louisiana, Idaho, California and Arizona. However, in Alaska the married couples can consent to treat the properties they have as a community property.

Responsibility for Credit Card Debt given to You in a Divorce Proceeding

If you were not liable for any credit card debt, there still remains a chance that a judge can make you responsible for it in your divorce proceeding. However, if the judge assigns you the credit card debt it does not mean that you’re contractually liable for the debt to that credit card company. The reason for this is that a family court judge cannot change the initial terms and conditions of the credit card contract. But if you do fail to pay back your debt and you credit card company goes after your ex-life partner, in such a case you can sue your spouse for the violation of the divorce decree and you can seek for compensation for any damages you suffered.