Credit score is very important and understanding how it works is just as vital. From when you want to buy a home or simply want to lease a place to live, credit score will play a big factor in determining your eligibility.
Filing a bankruptcy petition does not mean your credit will be bad forever. You can raise it back up with effort and planning. This effort starts as soon as your bankruptcy is over and the credit counseling courses you took will help.
Once your bankruptcy is over and you have received your discharge paperwork, this document can be used to provide to creditors who are willing to offer you lines of credits.
Below are some brief steps that can help re-establish a great credit score!
New Secured Credit Cards
- Credit cards are one of the most important steps in your bankruptcy recovery. A secured credit card from the bank or credit union is a great way to start. It will allow you to manage your money while at the same time build your credit. It essentially is a prepaid credit card.
- It’s also important to ask the bank if they will report your card activity to all three credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. If not, find a bank or institution that will.
- Some banks know you may be trying to build your credit and may choose to protect themselves or take advantage by charging upfront fees. Take your time. There are plenty of cards with these fees. This is a marathon not a sprint.
- Ask about increasing your limits. Remember to on do this if you feel you can manage the balance. The higher the limit and lower the balance, the quicker your score will rise.
- Any person or institution who tells you that carrying a balance on a unsecured credit card can improve your credit score is providing false information. Be informed when you go to the bank, knowing what you want will be key to your financial success.
Make sure all the accounts you included in your bankruptcy are listed as show $0 balances if you filed Chapter 7. If a creditor continues to report the account as delinquent — which they shouldn’t — your credit score would suffer.
If you have a family member or trusted friend, it would be worthwhile asking if they would add you as an authorized user on their credit card. Your bankruptcy will not affect their credit score in anyway but their account history will aid in building yours. A few tips on this below.
- Make sure their credit is good. Adding a bad account to your report will not help anything
- The older the account the better with payments being made on time
- Why stop at one? You can add multiple accounts like this to your account if possible
- Remind your trusted partner that they can add you and never actually give you the card
- Never actually having access to their accounts in anyway can help you gain many trusted partners
Applying for Loans
Remember, your credit score affects your ability to secure a loan and rejection is likely for credit cards right after bankruptcy. Don’t be discouraged and it’s important to know before going into anything.
When applying for loans, it is important to remember that inquiries into your credit score can negatively affect your score so don’t needlessly submit inquiries through loan companies or credit card companies.
Auto loans will be attainable but likely through the dealership’s finance department rather than the more traditional financial institutions. Interest rates may be high but remember this is all on the path to recovery.