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Life After Bankruptcy: How to Rebuild Your Credit
You’ve been through the bankruptcy process and came out on the other side. However, your credit score took a hit, and now you’re wondering how you’ll ever get back on your feet. It’s a common problem for many people who file for bankruptcy, but it’s one that can be solved over the course of time. Here are some tips to help you learn the proper use of credit.
Check Your Credit Report for Inaccuracies
The best place to start is to make sure everything on your credit report is accurate. You’ll see the accounts that were discharged in your bankruptcy for up to 10 years, depending on the type of bankruptcy you filed for, but your credit report should say these were included. Make sure all loans and payments are documented appropriately. If you spot any errors on your report, contact the credit reporting agency to have them corrected.
Apply for a Secured Credit Card
Careful use of credit can help you stabilize your budget, but you may find that many lenders only want to offer you high-interest rate cards after a bankruptcy. One way to use this system, but avoid these rates, is to apply for a secured credit card. The deposit that you pay in order to obtain the card assures the lender that they’ll still receive their payment, should you default and not be able to reimburse them. Using the card wisely and making timely monthly payments is a way to reacquaint yourself with credit as part of your monthly budget and may contribute to a healthy entry on your credit report.
Learn to Use Credit Wisely
If spending too much on credit cards, or financing purchases that you couldn’t afford, were the cause of your bankruptcy, changing spending habits can be helpful. If you do choose to use credit, make sure you have thought out the purchase. Only spend what you can safely repay each month, and always pay your credit card and loan payments on time. A helpful tip is to not purchase anything with a credit card unless you already have the cash. That way, you aren’t spending money that you don’t have, and you can still rebuild your credit.
Manage Your Money Better
Taking on too much debt after a bankruptcy is never a good idea. This can have an adverse affect on your credit report, especially if your debt to credit ratio gets too high. Instead, learn to live on less than you make, and develop a habit of saving money from every paycheck. Create a budget and plan for every expense so you are in control of your money. By visiting our Budgeting Page, you can learn to manage your income and borrowing habits, so that your credit and financial security may rebound over time.