Going through a divorce can be difficult for many reasons, but it also can give you the opportunity for a fresh start — whether that means starting a new career, moving to a new home or new city, establishing new friendships, or even starting a full financial life of your own.

Sometimes when people have been married for a long time, especially if they got married at a young age or were not in the workforce for a number of years prior to the divorce, they might find that they have no credit history, or limited credit history. Going through a divorce may offer a chance to build credit under your own name for the first time.

There are several issues that people sometimes face after a divorce that can make it helpful to use a secured credit card as part of a strategy for building credit. Here are three reasons why, if you’re newly divorced and building credit as a single person, you may want to consider a secured credit card.

1. To Build or Rebuild Your Credit

Unfortunately, financial stress can be one of the biggest contributing factors to divorce, says Bustle.com. If your ex-spouse was financially irresponsible and ran up credit card debt in both of your names, or if you have other unpaid debts or blemishes on your credit history from your marriage, you might find that your credit score has suffered.

Here is the good news: Now that you’re single again, you no longer have to be held back by your ex-spouse’s financial problems and bad habits. You have a chance to make a fresh start and rebuild your credit — or establish your own credit for the first time.

This is where a secured credit card may help: With a secured credit card, you can get access to a credit card without having to go through the credit check and other steps that are required to get an unsecured credit card. Instead, even if you have no credit or limited credit, you can sign up for a credit card that is “secured” (that is, backed) by your upfront refundable cash deposit of as little as $500 or less.

With a secured credit card, you don’t have to worry about running up credit card debt — because you can only spend as much as the limit of your cash deposit. Over time, if you use your card responsibly and pay your bills, you can “graduate” to a regular unsecured credit card with a larger credit limit.

2. To Qualify for a Loan for a Larger Purchase (Car/Home)

Getting back on your feet after a divorce may cause you to make some big changes in your living situation and daily transportation. If you have poor credit or no credit, a secured credit card can help you build up credit history to qualify for bigger financial goals like getting a car loan to buy a car or a mortgage to buy a house.

Getting a secured credit card can be valuable in helping build your credit after a divorce, because it gives you a chance to establish a consistent history of paying bills on time. According to Experian, after a divorce, “Your recent bill-paying pattern is critical. Your behavior (during the next 18 to 24 months) is most important in deciding whether you’re a good credit risk. Even one late payment can affect your ability to get a mortgage.”

Just making a few small purchases each month with your secured credit card — and then paying your bill on time — can make a big difference in qualifying for a mortgage.

3. To Take Control of Your Own Financial Future

You may never have had to balance a checkbook or pay a credit card bill before, especially if you got married at a young age, or have been married for a long time. Also, if your ex-spouse was the primary breadwinner or was the one who usually managed the money, you might not have much experience as the one responsible for paying bills on time and managing your finances.

You may find that you have a lot to learn about personal budgeting. Acquiring a secured credit card can help you get accustomed to the simple routines of managing your money and paying the bills each month. You also may find that it feels good to become a financially independent adult for the first time after a divorce.

A secured credit card can help you establish your own credit, build your own savings and create your own financial foundation for a better future.

Getting a secured credit card can be an empowering step on your journey to financial independence and financial security after a divorce. Don’t be afraid and don’t feel like you’re alone — you have great options and strong financial tools available to help you move forward in life, with confidence.

Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.