If you have just filed for bankruptcy you don’t need to wait for 7 to 10 years for your bankruptcy filing to be removed from your credit report. You can rebuild credit right after bankruptcy. Credit repair after bankruptcy requires your self-discipline, commitment and persistence. It is a long term process but the reward is new, productive spending habits. Just follow these 5 tips to succeed:
Tip# 1 – Get a copy of your credit report from each of the 3 major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and Transunion. Since each reporting agency keeps separate records of your credit history you need to make sure that your records are correct and accurate. If you find any mistakes on your credit report such as a wrong address or credit payment contact the reporting agency. They should remove the error if they fail to verify the information within 30 days.
Tip# 2 – If you find no mistakes on your credit report you cannot do anything about any unfavorable information such as your bankruptcy filing. You have to wait for it to be erased from your report after 7 to 10 years — depending on which chapter you filed.
Tip# 3 – You need to secure a new line of credit. With some limitations you can still get a loan through a secured credit card, where you open a savings account — as collateral — and your bank issues you a credit card. You can charge up your secured credit card to the amount of your cash deposit. Make small purchases to keep the credit limit low so that you will be easy to pay them off every month.
Another way to secure a new line of credit is getting a car loan or a mortgage loan, where they are usually offered with higher interest rates. Lenders are willing to lend you money for a new car or house because these loans are secured loans, meaning that they will take away the car or the house should you fail to repay. To get approved for these types of loans you need to have a good steady income and sufficient money for the down payment
Tip# 4 – The best way to do a credit repair after bankruptcy is to make timely payments to all your existing bills and other debt that were not discharged — such as student loans. In fact, by applying for a secured credit card you will be able to show to concerned lenders that you can pay your obligations promptly and regularly. And by doing so in as short as two years of timely payments, you will improve your credit rating and get better deals on new lines of credit.
Tip# 5 – Control the number of credit lines that you open. This means that you only apply for a loan or a credit card only if you absolutely need it and you afford to pay it back. Instead of borrowing money you will be developing the habit of saving money so that you don’t always rely on credit to pay for your needs. You can set aside as much as you can afford every month to cover you should you experience any major set back.
So credit repair after bankruptcy should not just be about improving creditworthiness but it should also develop the habit of managing money to prevent you from making the same mistake twice of incurring too much debt. There are no shortcuts. It requires your self-discipline, commitment and persistence.