How Can I Rebuild My Credit After Bankruptcy?
By the time someone has considered bankruptcy as an option for debt relief, he or she is likely to be in poor standing with creditors. While it is true that filing for bankruptcy will influence your credit score, bankruptcy is also typically your best chance for rebuilding credit.
Your credit score and reputation with lending institutions depend on the amount and the type of debt you have, as well as your record for making reliable payments. Filing bankruptcy with help from an experienced lawyer will help you preserve opportunities to take out loans, open credit cards and otherwise invest in your future. When it is done correctly, it can actually be the start of a new life without overwhelming debt.
I am attorney Randall Steele. For over 30 years I’ve helped members of my community in Glen Carbon east the process of rebuilding after bankruptcy. Call me at Steele Law Offices, LLC for information on how to start again and to see if bankruptcy is right for you.
Understand The Issues Around Bankruptcy
Here are some common issues I work with clients on:
- Create a realistic budget and stick to it. Your essential living needs should not be paid on credit. Ask yourself, “What do I absolutely need to pay my bills on time? Can my phone bill be reduced? Can I get rid of nonessentials?” Do your best to reduce your expenses and create good habits.
- Build up cash in both a checking and savings account, and obtain a secured credit card backed by those savings: Secured credit cards are reported to credit bureaus, but they act primarily as debit cards. Take opportunities to have your credit limit extended as you can, but continue paying off the balance on a regular basis.
- Pursue unsecured credit options from creditors that offer responsible lending practices. When you are able to open a credit card or obtain a personal loan, make sure that interest rates are going to be manageable. Ask friends and relatives about banks and credit unions they trust, and pay attention to the terms of any agreements you sign.
- Take opportunities to correct false information or explain your financial situation on credit reports. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you have the opportunity to pursue action for false information on credit reports, and you can write a 100-word statement in your own writing to explain the circumstances surrounding your credit score. For example, if your debt issues are due to a divorce, an unexpected injury or job loss (as they often are), you can give creditors that information.
The road to stable finances begins as soon as you take the first step. The longer you wait, the more challenging it will be come. It is always best to plan ahead before your wages are garnished or creditors have taken legal action against you. We can also talk about how bankruptcy can affect a divorce, child and spousal support, or a workers’ compensation claim.