How to Repair Your Credit Score
Bankruptcy can be a great way to wipe your financial slate clean and start fresh. Unfortunately, it can also wreak havoc on your credit score. But don’t let this unavoidable effect of bankruptcy prevent you from getting the relief you need. With care, dedication, and enough time, you can rebuild your credit even after filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. We encourage you to take a few key steps to protect and rebuild your credit after bankruptcy.
Create a Budget
Make sure you have a realistic and comprehensive budget in place – and be sure to stick with it after your bankruptcy. Having a budget will help you stay on top of your finances and allow you to better track your spending.
You should also make sure you budget for an emergency fund. Putting just a little bit away in an emergency savings fund can protect you in the event of an unexpected emergency and help you avoid racking up credit card debt.
Ensure That Your Credit Report Reflects Your Bankruptcy Properly
It seems counter-intuitive, but it is actually in your best interest that your credit report reflects your bankruptcy. Your credit report will show a $0 balance for discharged debts and delinquent balances should be removed. You get one free credit report per year, so make it count – or, invest a few dollars into checking it every few months to make sure everything is squared away.
Pay Nondischarged Accounts on Time Every Month
Perhaps the best way to improve your credit after bankruptcy is to stay on top of payments. For example, if you have student loan debt that was not discharged in your bankruptcy, be sure to keep making those payments on time and in full.
Secure New Credit
It can be difficult to obtain new credit after filing for bankruptcy, but it can also be one of the most effective ways to repair your credit score. Look into credit cards that approve applicants with a bankruptcy history. If you cannot find one that will approve you, consider a secured credit card.
This said, you should avoid applying for new credit too frequently. Don’t submit several credit card or loan applications at once, as this can make lenders wary of you.
Keep Balances Low
People with high credit scores usually have low credit card balances. Be smart about your spending and make the effort to pay off your credit cards frequently.
Remember, slow and steady is the way to go after bankruptcy. With time and effort, you can repair and rebuild your credit.
Call Sandra L. Hibsch, P.A. at (813) 446-5761 with any questions about credit reports after bankruptcy.