Advice for Those Recovering From Bankruptcy

A bankruptcy can be a hard pill to swallow when it comes to your future finances. Bankruptcies do their fair share of fighting off creditors for you, but they also make it publicly known that you are in the midst of a bankruptcy. When your bankruptcy is over and it is time to recover, you may find yourself still living under that strict budget, trying to make paychecks last until you receive your next one, and it will also be incredibly difficult to get good interest rates when financing for things you need, such as a car or even a home.

The steps to recovering from this financial nightmare are simple, and with a few deep breaths you should be back on your feet within no time. First, obtain copies of all your credit reports to review what debts are still showing. You can dispute any debts that you find still showing because of the bankruptcy, and this will help to remove some of those “red flags” that lenders look at. Someone fresh out of a bankruptcy may not even want to think about their credit report, much less obtain a physical copy of it and go through the hassle of disputing, but this is very important to do. Remember that even some jobs will check your credit history to see if you would be considered a potential risk of stealing from them. A credit score of zero is most ideal when coming out of bankruptcy versus owing thousands of dollars to unpaid creditors.

If all information on your credit report is true and accurate, or if you have already completed the first initial step, you can begin to rebuild your credit history. Without too much work and with the help of your financial adviser, this can be done within the next few years following your bankruptcy. You would do this in the same way you did when you first started out, get your first credit card. Because your credit is so poor at this point, you may have to go with a prepaid credit card, but one that will still report to your credit each month. Another method used is to attempt getting a loan from your local bank or credit union. Ask someone you trust to be the cosigner of this loan so that you can get approved, then hold on to that loan amount in order to repay the loan each month. As long as you do not spend this money, you should have no problems paying off the loan each month on time.

Remember what the bankruptcy did for you. Some of the methods learned by those who are struggling are the most valuable. If you clipped coupons to save on groceries, if you eliminated wasting gas or other tiny aspects that helped you save money should still be used until you feel comfortable enough to start spending again. However, there was a reason you had to file for bankruptcy and it should be a lesson learned, not a lesson forgotten.

Additionally, bankruptcies are not always a bad thing. They can actually be considered very good things when the right light is thrown upon them. For example, a bankruptcy has now cleared all of your debt and given you a fresh start to grow again. You now have a chance to improve your credit better than it ever was before. You also probably have a better understanding of how your bills work and how much you need to survive each month, more so than those who have not gone through a bankruptcy. Use these experiences to your advantage to help you succeed in the future.