Many people are afraid that filing for bankruptcy will damage their credit so extensively that it can never be repaired. The fact is that your credit is diminishing each day that debts are allowed to sit there unpaid and unattended. Our attorneys at The Bankruptcy Law Group can not only help you to file for bankruptcy, but they can help you to take control of your financial future.
Here are some great places to start when you need to rebuild your credit:
Open a fresh checking and/or savings account.
You may find that getting a new checking or savings account could be tricky after filing for bankruptcy. Our best advice is to actually visit local banks and have a sit-down conversation with advisers Be straight forward and honest about your situation and listen to their advice. Often when meeting someone face to face you can learn more about their programs and what they offer that can help you get on the right track.
Sign up for a secured credit card.
A secure credit card can help you to rebuild your credit in the same way that an insecure card would. Since your credit has recently taken a hit, it can be hard to get an insecure credit card. What makes the two different? Well, with a secure credit card you’re required to put down a safety deposit before being issued a card. Use it wisely and pay off your balance as recommended.
Don't just pay the minimum balance.
Pay the balance off, in-full, every time it comes in. Sticking to this single principle will help keep your spending habits in check.
Request copies of your credit scores from all three major bureaus.
You get one for free every year without it hurting your credit record. This will give you a great guideline to follow when plotting out where you want to be financially next year or five years down the road. Make a note on your calendar for the day next year to get your new, free results to see how far you’ve come.
The three bureaus are:
- Equifax: 800-685-1111
- Experian: 888-397-3742
- TransUnion: 800-888-4213
Pay your bills on time.
This is where some people get in trouble to begin with. Ensure that you’re paying all of your bills on time. Create a calendar on your computer, phone, white board or refrigerator, any place that you’re sure not to forget. Create your budget and ensure that all of your bills are taken care of.
If you see expenditures on your credit reports that you didn't authorize or make, dispute them with the proper bureau.
All three have the proper forms and numbers to use for such a purpose. Never feel that since it's on paper that it can't be fixed. Do not think that since you filed for bankruptcy that no one will believe you in situations like this one.
Now, let’s talk about your budget!
- Take a step back and think about the magazine subscriptions you never read, extra cable TV channels you never watch, maybe even a gym membership you haven't used in years. Of course, there are some big ticket items that we all have to face:
- Your residence more than likely has rent or a mortgage attached to it every month. If you're renting space that’s too expensive, maybe it’s time to find somewhere more affordable.
- Food we can't do without, but what we can do is clip coupons, look for specials while at the grocery store, and cut way back on eating out.
- Utilities such as water, trash, electricity, and/or natural gas bills are more than likely a staple expense. Of these there is give-and-take with the electric bill where a sweater can be thrown on in the winter and fan turned on in the summer instead of touching that thermostat. Being conscious of how you’re using your resources could save you a bundle.
- In today's world, you can almost completely cut out a home phone bill. Cell phone companies will fight to get you the lowest price in town, and if you remember you don't need all those special features, you can save more money than you expect on a basic cell phone with minutes appropriate to your lifestyle. The same goes for internet services.
- Think about the car you drive. Are the payments too high? Is the muscle car for show, or is there a cheaper way to get from Point A to Point B? Think about gas mileage, car insurance, and general upkeep. If you own the car, maybe it's time to trade to a more economy-sized ride.
- Look at the money you have left and treat yourself to a movie or meal at a favorite café, but remember that the more of that money you put into a savings account, or to pay off bills on time, the faster you'll be back on top in the world of credit.
Here’s some tips on climbing, and staying on top of your finances.
Here's the deal: Never pay for rent, utilities, or other credit cards with - credit. Stay strictly within the boundaries of your budget and lose a great deal less sleep at night wondering how a car note will be paid, if the lights will be cut off tomorrow, or when the creditors begin to call bright and early the next morning. Bankruptcy provided you with a fresh start, and now you have to try your best to make it work.
As you look at your budget every month, make sure you're adding into your savings each time. It doesn't matter how small the amount may appear, it's something, and more than what you had in there the day before. This is "emergency money" and you'll be amazed how handy it can come in with one such emergency pops up.
Filing for bankruptcy can help you get a fresh start on your fiances. Don’t hesitate to file for bankruptcy because you’re afraid of the impact it’s going to have on your credit score. There are ways to get it back to a healthy state with a little determination. Call one of our knowledgeable bankruptcy attorneys today to find out more about filing for bankruptcy and rebuilding your credit!