If you are considering declaring bankruptcy or you already have, there are many things that you need to understand moving forward. For example, did you know that bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for up to a decade? Additionally, there is also a very good possibility that your FICO score will remain low until you start working towards rebuilding your credit once again. In order to do this, we thought we would offer you some helpful tips. Continue reading below if you want to know more about how to improve your credit score after filing for bankruptcy.
Look at your credit report
In order to know where you are going, you are first going to need to know where you currently are financially. In order to do this, we would recommend that you get copies of your all of your credit reports. This will allow for you to find out if there are any errors or inconsistencies within them. There are many ways you can obtain a credit report, many of which are as simple as using certain sites online.
Pay your bills on time
Did you know that your payment history makes up approximately 35 percent of your overall credit score? If you really want to improve your score in a timely manner, make sure that you are paying your bills on time each and every month.
Apply for credit carefully
If you are unable to keep your credit card account open throughout the bankruptcy process, it’s a good idea to get another account once your bankruptcy has been discharged. There is a good chance that you may have to begin with a secured card. This type of card will require you to first make a security deposit with the issuer as a means of insurance. When you get the card, you simply have to make sure that you are paying for it on time each month. This will likely raise your credit score steadily over time.
Add a loan eventually
When some time has passed since filing your bankruptcy (we recommend one or two years), you might want to consider applying for a car loan or a line of credit. While your interest rate may be high to start, over time this rate will go down and help you to get a better credit score, so long as you are paying on time.
Be cautious of credit repair services
It’s likely that you will plenty of offers from various credit repair services offering to help you get your credit back on track. Be sure that you look into these entities before giving out any personal information. Not only can their fees be expensive and with so many ways to repair your own credit, it’s likely you will be better off not responding to these companies at all.
Know what your limits are
Once your credit begins to be re-established, it is beyond important that you know the limits on your credit cards and that you mind them constantly. Chances are, you’ll have a fairly low limit, to begin with, because your credit score is so low. In all honesty, this is probably for the best as you won’t be able to begin your common habit of charging too much and having debt you can’t afford.
Don’t close your accounts
While it may seem like the right thing to do, closing all lines of credit and swearing off credit cards is not the right way to handle your finances after filing for bankruptcy. This will actually do far more damage to your credit than getting new lines of credit will. In order to build your credit back up, you need to show that you can spend responsibly. If you cannot do this, it may be best to just cut up your cards, but you may want to meet with a financial planner or a lawyer before you do so. They may be able to help.
Get a Windsor Bankruptcy Attorney
If you are stressed out about filing for bankruptcy or about getting back on your feet once you eliminate your debt and you live in the Windsor area, we can help at the Law Offices of Loomis and Greene. We know the ins and outs of bankruptcy and we would love to help you. Contact us today for more information.