Going through a bankruptcy is enough to scare anyone. You know it can take a huge toll on your credit and it could cause some severe financial repercussions you may feel for a number of years. However, you can do some things to help start rebuilding your credit rating as soon as possible. Declaring bankruptcy is no easy decision, but with the tips that follow, it should be a little bit easier to start boosting your credit.
Check Your Credit Score
Your score will drop after you file. This always happens. Check your credit score after you file though so you know your exact score and where you stand. Review your report each year. Even though a bankruptcy can harm your credit score for years, when you follow the rest of these tips, you will start to see some nice improvements take place.
Pay Your Bills on Time
Always make sure you are paying your bills on time. On-time payments account for a large amount of your credit score. Paying on time is one of the easiest ways to start boosting your credit. If you have issues remembering to pay on time, set up some monthly reminders before the bills are due so you can send them out in the mail or pay them online.
Open a Card and Get a Loan
You may want to try to keep at least one credit card open during your bankruptcy if possible. If not, get a secured card after filing. Make sure to pay off the balances regularly. Pay them down entirely each month if you can. After a year or two, you should be able to start qualifying for loans. Get a relatively small loan and see what type of rates you can get.
The rates on this loan might be a bit higher than you would like, but that’s normal after bankruptcy. Pay off that loan on time and the next time you get a loan, your credit score will be higher and the rates you get will be lower. You may be able to improve your credit and then refinance the loan that you took out to get a better rate, as long as you’ve been making those payments on time.
Know what it was that got you into trouble with your finances in the first place. Perhaps you had a set of bad circumstances, such as a family member who needed help, and you had no choice but to run up debt. However, if the reason you are in debt is simply that you have trouble with spending and not paying off your bills, you do not want to get into the same situation again. Recognize where your weaknesses lie and make sure they do not occur again.
It takes time to rebuild your credit after a bankruptcy, and you cannot expect an overnight solution. Keep things simple. Pay your bills and don’t overspend, and you should be in great shape. In several years, your credit will be in much better shape.