Home > Auto Loans > Help! I Need to Get My Ex Off My Car Loan

Comments 6 Comments

We’ve had many readers write in after a divorce, asking how to go about separating their assets with their ex-spouse. One of the most common questions is how to remove an ex from a car loan and title. Here’s how to do it.

You’ll need to refinance the auto loan into your own name to get your ex-spouse off the loan. In essence, you’ll be buying the car from your ex-spouse.

The spouse who is responsible for the car loan payments should be the one to assume credit liability. It’s a really good idea to go through this process right away, regardless of what the divorce decree states. Divorce decrees (or court orders) do not release either person from his/her obligations under the original contract of the loan.

That means that if you and your ex-spouse have a joint account, like an auto loan, and if your spouse who is supposed to pay does not, the negative history will end up on both of your credit reports, and those late payments will damage both of your credit ratings. In fact, the other person may not know about the unpaid account until a collection agency calls.

Removing your ex from the title is similar, except that for this step you’ll need to go through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You both will need to sign a change of title/vehicle ownership form and return it for processing. Check online or call your state’s DMV for details and forms.

In some states you may be able to file a transfer of title between family members (especially if the divorce has not been finalized yet) and in this way avoid another smog certification and paying taxes on the vehicle based on the purchase price. (If you live in the state of California, for example, read more about changing vehicle ownership vs. transferring title.)

Image: iStockphoto

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    That’s really a question for your divorce lawyer. After a divorce, your assets should be in your name and his assets in his.

  • Kelly

    How do I know if my credit is good enough to refinance?

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      You can check with a lender about requirements (and it won’t be score alone — it will also include income, other debt obligations, etc.). It’s smart to get your free annual credit reports
      and check them for accuracy. If you find inaccurate information, you can dispute it, and it should be removed. Some credit card statements now include credit scores. Keep in mind there are hundreds of scoring models, so you want to be sure you compare the same one month to month. Here’s how to monitor your credit score for free.

  • ray

    What if we are never married? Just a friend help a friend but now that friend is not making payments many times.

    • Jeanine Skowronski

      If you co-signed the loan, you are generally responsible for the payments, regardless of the relationship.

      Thank you,


  • leo

    What if you co-own with your parent and they take the car and you want to be removed form the title?

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other sponsored content on Credit.com are Partners with Credit.com. Credit.com receives compensation if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any financial products or cards offered.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team