5 Strategies to Rebuild Your Credit after a Bankruptcy

A bankruptcy can be listed on your credit file for up to 10 years, and during this time, your credit score will be low. The good news is that its impact will fade over time, and you can begin right away to rebuild your credit by offsetting the negative information on your credit report with positive information.

Many people worry that a bankruptcy means they will never have good credit again, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Here are some steps you can take to make progress in this situation.

1. Thoroughly Review Your Credit Report

The journey to improving your credit begins with knowing exactly where you stand regarding your score and report. By knowing your score, you’ll be able to determine what you need to do to make impactful changes.

There are a variety of online services that provide free credit reports. Sign up for these websites to check on your progress and the changes you’ve made to your score.

2. Dispute Any Incorrect Information

This may sound like a simple and obvious task to complete, but it’s common for people to suffer from low credit for a longer period due to incorrect information that they haven’t noticed or that they have not disputed. This is another benefit of using an online service to check your credit.

If you notice any inconsistencies on your credit file, such as a debt marked as unpaid that you have, in fact, paid in full or inaccurate records of your payment history, it’s essential that you dispute it.

3. Create a Financial Budget

Budgeting allows you to know accurately what comes in and what needs to go out, allowing for debt repayments, on-time bill payments, and savings. The most important rule for budgeting is to never spend more than you earn—live within your means. Making room for savings within your budget can prevent the negative impact of unplanned financial burdens, such as a broken-down car that needs repair or a problem with your furnace.

Having emergency savings can ensure these unexpected expenses are covered, so you don’t have to go into debt to pay them.

4. Always Pay Your Bills on Time

If you wait too long to pay your bills, you’ll quickly build up debt and interest fees and penalties. Always make sure to prioritize expenses in your budget so all bills are paid when they are due.

Your payment history makes up nearly half of your credit score, and on-time consistent payments can help you rebuild your score. Getting into this routine will prevent you from entering financial difficulty again in the future and can break the bad habits that contributed to your bankruptcy.

It may be difficult to keep on top of this, but it’s a necessary adjustment for financial health, and you can make it simpler by creating an accurate spreadsheet of your income and budget.

5. Pick a Credit Card That Will Help Rebuild Credit

There are many credit cards on the market that are designed specifically for people with bad credit. They have low limits and high interest rates. Using such a credit card to purchase small items and paying off the balance at the end of each month will help you create a solid payment history, proving your ability to manage your credit and keep on top of consistent payment schedules.

If you’ve gone through bankruptcy, remember you are not alone. Let go of any guilt or shame, make peace with what has happened, and commit to a more structured and brighter financial future. With a few simple steps, you can get back on the road to rebuilding your finances and improving your overall wellbeing.

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