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Establishing Credit after Bankruptcy
If you have recently filed for bankruptcy you may think that the future of your credit rating is all but done for. While establishing credit after bankruptcy is difficult, it is far from impossible. There is no easy way to fix bad credit, but if you are willing to put in the work and have patience you will rebuild your credit over time.
5 Ways to Establish Credit after Bankruptcy
1. Make a budget and stick to it. Let's face the facts. For most of us the reason we had to file for bankruptcy is we agreed to spend more money than we had access to and then failed to make our monthly payments on time. Moving forward, it is important to determine how much money you have coming in every month and then set a budget around that income. Once the budget is set you will need to stick to it and not spend any more money than your budget allows. This will keep you in control of your money and not let your money (or lack of) control you instead. 2. Pay your bills on time. Every bill; even the small ones. When most people think of their monthly expenses they don't consider things like the electric company and their telephones. These companies are also creditors and if you do not pay them on time it will hurt your credit rating. Pay all of your bills on time...it is that simple. 3. Get a credit card and make the monthly payments. After filing bankruptcy the last thing you may want to do is get a credit card. The truth is, obtaining a credit card is the easiest way to re-build your credit. Whether you decide on a secured credit card that is tied to your bank account or an unsecured credit card just remember; while a credit card can help you build credit after bankruptcy it can also seriously hurt you. Be sure to make your monthly payments and keep your limits low and soon you will see your credit score rise. 4. Pay attention to your credit report. If you do everything right after your bankruptcy you will be left with a clean slate. Be sure to check your credit report regularly and make sure that the bankruptcy was entered correctly. Then, watch your credit report in the future to make sure no future errors are entered on the report. 5. Have patience when re-building your credit. Establishing credit after bankruptcy is not going to be easy and it will take time. Once you understand this it will make the road to good credit much easier. The only way to re-establish your credit is to start making your payments on time and let time heal the wounds of your past.
One final thought on establishing credit after bankruptcy. Keep your job history intact. If you have a steady job and income it will also show up on your credit report. And once you have rebuilt your credit it is important to keep it in good standing. With a good credit history it will make things like buying a car and house in the future much easier.
An amendment to the FCRA requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies - Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion - to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. To order, visit: http://www.annualcreditreport.com.
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