Keep Your Credit Utilization At 30% Or Less
Another tip for rebuilding your credit is to keep your balances at 30% or less of your available credit limit. And make sure you make your payments on time. Getting a credit card or applying for new loans should strictly be for rebuilding credit at this point. Dont use credit cards for making large purchases or for making loans to yourself.
Will Applying For A Credit Card Hurt My Credit Score
When you apply for a credit card, issuers will check your credit report to see if you qualify. This check will be indicated on your report and may temporarily lower your score. This may feel like a catch-22 for people recovering from bankruptcy: you need a credit card to help repair your score, but applying for cards may actually hurt it. For this reason, we recommend you only apply to a secured card meant for people in your situation. That way, you’ll only need to apply once and you won’t have multiple credit checks listed on your report.
Other Tips To Help Fix Your Credit After Bankruptcy
Heres some more advice on how to revive your credit score after bankruptcy:
- Avoid : Dont fall for con artists who claim they can remove a bankruptcy from your credit report. Nobody can remove bankruptcy from a credit report before the allotted 7-10 years have ended.
- Avoid frequent job changes, if possible: Your state of employment has no direct effect on your credit score, but lenders may put less faith in borrowers drifting from job to job.
- Keep account balances low: From where the credit bureaus stand, maxed out credit cards are a sign of strained finances. Aim to keep your credit utilization ratio below 30%. Also, keeping your balances low will lower your debt-to-income ratio , which in turn will amplify your shot at landing a low-cost loan.
- Not applying for new credit often: Lenders and credit bureaus take note when borrowers rapidly apply for credit. Its not a good look. It makes you look desperate, which makes you look risky. Remember, lenders abhor risk.
- Saving money: This one is less about restoring your credit score and more about making sure youre financially sound. If youre dealing with the consequences of bankruptcy, youre probably not in the best financial shape to handle surprise medical bills or unforeseen car troubles. Saving a little money from your paycheck every week can bridge the gap when you need it most. It doesnt take a fortune to mitigate misfortune. Three to six months worth of living expenses should do the trick.
Use Auto Pay With Fixed Bills
Whichever credit card you have, simplify your credit score repair plan. Decide on a fixed monthly expense , charge it to your card and then have that sum automatically satisfied via your banks bill pay system.
If you had trouble staying out of debt before, this is an ideal way to stay on track, says Selita. You wont have to do anything other than make sure your checking account has enough funds to cover the charge and monitor your credit card account statements.
Aside from this strategy being easy, it will ensure that a steady stream of positive data is being added to your credit report. With consistent charging and repaying, youre demonstrating that youre a reliable borrower, so your scores will rise.
Evaluate Your Financial Habits
The first step? Take a good, hard look at why you had to file bankruptcy in the first place.
Though bankruptcy is sometimes unavoidable, we all have financial habits we could improve . Whether its forgoing shopping, purchasing health insurance, or building up an emergency fund, consider what you should do to avoid going bankrupt again.
And, if you havent already taken your debtor education course, look at it as a learning opportunity rather than just a legal obligation. By taking this course seriously, youll learn skills such as budgeting and using credit wisely that can help you avoid financial trouble in the future.
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Make Affordable Purchases Only No Exceptions
With access to credit cards and bank accounts, it might be tempting to fall into old habits. Splitting unnecessary or large purchases into multiple payments, using payday loans, or waiting until credit is maxed out before seeking help are risky financial practices. Use this fresh start as an opportunity to develop new, more responsible habits and to always keep them in mind when shopping.
Monitor Your Credit Report
You must ensure that your credit report is accurate and free from errors. If you notice any incorrect information on your credit report, you must correct all errors with your creditors and credit reporting agencies, which could help your bad credit improve. It is important to take a copy of your credit reports from any of the three major bureaus Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax to be able to monitor them regularly.
What Does It Mean To Rebuild Your Credit
Before we begin, lets make sure you are aware of what it really means to rebuild your credit. This process entails more than just obtaining a credit card or paying a car loan on time. The fact is that different agencies will judge you based on a variety of elements, and they are all different.
Before we begin, we will show you an example or two of how your credit is looked at. Even credit card rules have changed in the past ten years, and most people are unaware. This next section is the most important because you dont want to start a new credit rebuilding scheme and then find out you have been doing it all wrong.
Rebuild Your Credit After Bankruptcy
One of the most common questions regarding bankruptcy is what does bankruptcy do to my credit? At ARM Lawyers, we do more than simply help you eliminate your debt. We will work with you to rebuild your credit score!
Too good to be true? Not even remotely.
Because our clients are so concerned about their credit, we searched high and low for the best credit education program out there. After testing the program, we learned that people who have been through 720CreditScore.coms credit program transform their credit scores, usually within 24 months of declaring bankruptcy.
With these kinds of results, we decided to make this program available to every single one of our bankruptcy clients FOR FREE. The credit education program usually costs $1,000 for enrollment. However, we enroll every one of our bankruptcy clients into the program FOR FREE.
In this program, you will learn how to rebuild your credit the right way. You will also learn:
- Why most credit scores are wrong;
- Which credit cards actually hurt your credit score;
- How to stop lenders that report the wrong information;
- How to re-establish your credit after a bankruptcy foreclosure, or short sale.
Heres a little sample of what youll get FOR FREE:
How To Rebuild Your Credit In Canada With 12 Little
20-year financial veteran Paul Murphy shows how to rebuild your credit in Canada, the mechanics of how credit ratings are calculated, and why missing a payment or two isnt as large a factor in credit ratings as you might think.;
Today, I want to answer one of the biggest questions we get:;how to rebuild my credit in Canada?;
Or more specifically, our clients want to know how can we rebuild our credit fast! Give us your super fast credit rebuilding secret tips!
But while there are ways to build up your credit rating faster , its important to remember the point of a credit rating.;Its a history and profile of you and your potential risk to creditors. As a result, it requires a few different inputs and some time to give credits the confidence to lend to you.
Many Canadians think that if they file a consumer proposal or miss payments or default on a loan, theyll forever have a terrible credit score. But while credit ratings look at your past behavior, what theyre actually interested in is using your credit rating to predict your future behavior. Its trying to come up with a number that shows the likelihood that youll repay the money you borrow.
Just because you have blemishes in the past, there are steps you can take to rebuild your credit rating in Canada. And if you made mistakes in the past does not mean you wont be able to get great loans, mortgages, and other credit in the future.
This guide was written for:
Apply For New Credit Sparingly
Part of your credit score is based on how many new credit applications you make. Avoid putting in several new credit card or loan applications at once, particularly if youre getting turned down. The new applications will ultimately make lenders wary of approving you because they think you might be desperate for credit. If you’re not having any luck, focus on paying off existing debts and try again in six months or so.
Only inquiries made within the past 12 months affect your credit score.
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Keep Your Credit Balances Low
At 30%,the second biggest factor that makes up your credit score is your credit utilization, basically, that means how much of a balance youre carrying on your cards compared to your available credit. You should always keep your . Some experts recommend to keep it as low as 10%, but even better is to pay off your balance each month, especially after a bankruptcy.;
Build An Emergency Fund Into Your Budget
If possible, youâll want to make sure that a certain amount of your monthly income goes into a savings account. You do this by making the emergency fund one of the expenses in your budget. Then, make a plan to make sure this amount actually makes it into your savings account every month – or every payday. Donât just wait to see whatâs left after paying for everything else.
This will help you build a financial cushion in the event something goes wrong. Like the water heater breaking. Or getting an unexpected medical bill. You donât want to use the money youâve budgeted for bills and other monthly expenses for these extraordinary expenditures, if you can avoid it. And you donât want to be stuck having to get a high interest short-term loan either.
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Tip No : Make Sure All Balances Are Zeroed Out
Another line you want to look at on each account is the current account balance. Even if the status is correct, an account may still have a balance listed that it says you owe. Following bankruptcy discharge, every account should list a zero balance. If you show a balance, have the mistake corrected.
Also, make sure that the creditor or lender hasnt moved your balance to another account or opened a new account with the money still owed in an attempt to collect. In rare cases, creditors will convert or re-age an account to get around bankruptcy discharge.
Monitor Your Credit To Watch Your Progress
Monitoring your credit after bankruptcy is one of the best uses of a service aside from ID theft protection. After all, if youre not watching your credit score, how do you know if what youre doing is having the effect you want?
Besides helping you dispute negative items that bring down your credit report, SmartCredit can also help you monitor your credit report and credit scores. You can also make strategic decisions. For example, after a few months of paying off your secured credit card, has your credit improved enough to apply for an auto loan, or are you better off taking out a smaller loan first?
Youll also be able to see when youve recovered enough to do bigger things, like buy a new home. Once you have your credit score back to a level youre happy with, you can cancel your service or keep it going to make sure you maintain the highest score possible 365 days a year.
Try SmartCredit for yourself with a 14-day free trial here.
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Establishing Good Financial Habits
Does Closing An Open Credit Card Help Rebuild Your Credit Score
If the open credit card is a long-standing account, then closing it would actually be a wasted opportunity to rebuild your credit score. Instead of getting rid of unused credit accounts, start using them again at least once a month, but in smaller amounts.
If youre still working on your spending habits and do not trust yourself with high-limit credit accounts, lock the actual card in a safe until youve settled the accounts balances completely.
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Become An Authorized User
Being added as an authorized user on a family members credit card account can almost instantly boost your credit score. If the primary account holder has excellent credit, the authorized user will also show that excellent credit on their credit report.
The credit card shows up on your credit report from the original date family member opened it, not when they added you to the account. So, being added as an authorized user can potentially add years of positive credit history to your credit report.
Review Credit Reports And Correct Errors
As stated above, all accounts discharged in bankruptcy should have a zero balance. In most cases, the accounts note that they were included in a bankruptcy. If an account that was discharged in your Chapter 7 is not correct, notify the creditor and the credit reporting agencies immediately. One of the benefits of discharging debts in Chapter 7 is that the accounts are closed, the balances owed are zero, and the company cannot report failure to make payments.
Heres a place where you can dispute incorrect items for each bureau:
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Buying A Home After Bankruptcy
As noted above, a bankruptcy will linger on your credit report for up to 10 years. This, however, does not mean you cannot qualify for a mortgage for 10 years.
Still, lenders want to be confident about the borrowers ability to repay. Besides all the usual investigation into job and income stability, theyll scrutinize at the applicants payment history.
After a bankruptcy, then, youll have to temper your new-house fever for, probably, at least a couple of years. Meanwhile, you can distinguish yourself as someone who makes timely payments on your secured credit card, and possibly your secured loan or car loan.
Also, the longer you can wait after bankruptcy, and the better you can rebuild your credit, the more likely you are to strike a better deal on your interest rate. A half-point difference on a 30-year fixed-rate loan could add up to nearly $100 a month, and tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
Once youre in the market again, after about two years be sure to include government-insured loans in your shopping. These tend to be more forgiving of bad credit scores. Investigate FHA- or, if youre looking in a rural community, USDA-backed loans. Veterans whove been two years with clean credit post-bankruptcy can access their VA benefits.
When Might Bankruptcy Be The Only Option
One of the chief causes of bankruptcy is simply too much debt. This happens when you take advantage of many financing opportunities, leaving yourself with multiple debt streams such as consumer and auto loans, and credit cards. You have no idea how to pay it all. You start skipping bills, the debt collectors start calling, and ultimately, you find yourself facing debt collection litigation. At this point, you have no choice but to file bankruptcy.
Medical bills are another leading cause of bankruptcy. According to a Bankrate study, only 40 percent of Americans can cover a $1000 emergency. If you havent been able to save for emergencies, unexpected medical bills can completely upend your financial life. Even if you have been paying all your bills on time, budgeting and tracking your money, an unexpected medical emergency can take you to bankruptcy court. Its a good idea to be sure about the details of your insurance coverage and try to invest in a health savings account.
Many consumers find themselves facing bankruptcy due to credit card debt. There are other strategies, such as transferring your debt to a single credit card or getting a debt consolidation loan. But if these options arent available to you, bankruptcy court may be the only way to get back on track.
Yes, there is life after bankruptcy
So now the question is how do you rebuild your credit after you have filed for bankruptcy?
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