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Credit Repair After Bankruptcy

Once you’ve filed for bankruptcy, you might think that your credit is ruined forever. The good news is that’s simply not true. Bankruptcy only remains on your credit report for 10 years, and during that time there are a lot of things that you can do to help improve your credit score. Even with a bankruptcy on your credit, after a few years (often three) you can qualify for a mortgage. You can also generally get a car sooner than that, and start qualifying for credit cards again. Some companies start sending out pre-approved, secured credit cards offers to people almost as soon as the ink is dry on the bankruptcy discharge papers.

Secured and Non-Secured Credit Cards

Non-secured credit cards are what most people want, but right after bankruptcy you may not be able to get those. Secured cards aren’t as good of a deal, but they can help you start re-establishing some credit. They typically have low limits, high fees, and other annoying issues, and they’re secured by a savings account or deposit with the credit card company. If you don’t have any money, you won’t be able to get one because you won’t have anything you can use for security. After you pay on a secured card and use it wisely for a few months, you’ll have a lot better chance to get non-secured cards again.

Personal Loans

If you have a bank you’re comfortable with and have had an account with for a long time, you can see about getting a small personal loan. If you get one, don’t use it for anything. Instead, make the payments on it, carefully and on time for six to eight months. Then, pay it off. It’ll help build your credit, and you won’t have trouble paying it off because you didn’t spend the money. Sure, you’ll pay a few dollars in interest, but it’s well worth it for the boost your credit will get.

Pay Bills On Time

One of the best things you can do in order to protect your credit and start to repair it is to pay your bills on time. It seems like such a simple, obvious thing, but many people forget how important it is to pay their bills by the due date. A lot of people send the bill out on the due date or the day before, and it ends up being late, so the company they sent it to charges them a late fee. If credit card bills are received late, the interest rate can be raised on them, too.

Don’t let that happen to you. Make sure you’re getting your bills paid on time and you’re making more than the minimum payments. Even a few dollars extra can help pay them off faster. You’ll also want to get a copy of your credit report and see what it shows. Bankruptcy is bad, but if there are other negative items on there that don’t belong to you, you have the right to have them removed.

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