Rebuilding Your Credit after Bankruptcy

Posted on February 11, 2015 at 10:28am by

Whether you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are likely concerned about how it will affect your credit score. You wonder if you will ever be able to get another credit card or be able to buy a car or a house. You know that your bankruptcy will show up on your credit report for 10 years, but all is not lost.

Although it may take a year or more, there are ways you can rebuild your credit score and get the fresh start in your financial life you expected when you filed for bankruptcy. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Get copies of your credit report – from all reporting companies. Check the reports periodically for accuracy. Keep track of your score and you should be able to see it increase.
  • Apply for a secured credit card. Be sure it is from a company that reports to the three credit reporting agencies. The amount of money you deposit with the company will be your credit limit. Use the card for at least one purchase every month and pay the balance in full when you receive your statement. Never make a late payment. Companies that offer secured cards charge annual fees. Some are quite high, but you should be able to find one that charges no more than $30 a year.
  • Pay all bills on time. This includes your rent or mortgage, car payments, utilities and any other debt that was not discharged in your bankruptcy.
  • Get a retail charge card which is often available to people with low credit scores. Charge something once a month and pay the balance in full and on time.
  • Get a gas card. You need gas anyway. Reestablish good credit by paying the monthly bill in full and on time.