If you’ve filed for bankruptcy, then you’ve made the decision to give yourself a fresh start and free yourself from crushing debt. You’ve made the decision to reduce the stress in your life. You have decided to get a fresh start.
Serving clients from all over the Washington D.C. region, Lee Legal specializes in helping people eliminate debt. But we also help people to plan for a successful financial future after bankruptcy. It can be tough to know where to start when it comes to managing finances. Here’s a short guide to building credit after filing bankruptcy.
Assess your situation
To create a viable personal finance plan you, have to know where you’re starting. That means taking a look at exactly how much you earn, devising a realistic monthly budget, and what and who you still owe. (Some debts, like student loans, don’t go away after filing for bankruptcy.) Your attorney will go over all the details of your current situation and collaborate with you to create a successful plan. About four months after filing bankruptcy, you should run your credit report to ensure that your creditors are correctly reporting your discharge status.
Open checking and savings accounts
If you don’t have checking and savings accounts, getting one of each is an excellent place to start. While opening bank accounts won’t directly impact your credit score, they’re a necessary part of being financially responsible. Start by committing to your budget and saving a little money each month. You’ll be ahead of the game in no time.
Get one or two credit cards
If you have trouble getting approved for a standard, unsecured credit card, then consider getting a secured credit card. Secured cards (or prepaid cards) are easier to obtain with a bad credit history. (This is sometimes called “re-starter” credit.) Once you get your card use it only for predetermined expenses, like groceries or gas. Be sure to pay off your balance in full every month. This is the single most important step to building credit after filing bankruptcy.
Building credit after filing bankruptcy
As your credit improves, you’ll be able to extend your credit lines and even apply for things like personal loans or mortgages. If you need personalized advice about filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, call Lee Legal at (202) 448-5136 or request a free consultation online.