Filing for bankruptcy can be a liberating experience. The freedom from high debt balances and delinquent accounts can offer you a fresh start for your financial future, but how exactly do you start over? The good news is that life after bankruptcy isn’t complicated, it just takes time and dedication.
The first thing you should do after a Louisville bankruptcy is to order a copy of your credit report. Not all creditors update your account status right away, and your report could be plagued with old information. Make sure your report reflects the true standings of your accounts. Any debts discharged in a bankruptcy should be resolved and reflected as such. Yes, your bankruptcy filing will be noted on the credit report as well, but that doesn’t mean it will damage your credit. In fact, with old credit histories wiped away your score should see an increase.
After examining your credit score begin to put to use some of the tools learned through the credit counseling course. Develop a budget that includes categories for unexpected expenses like medical costs. Track your spending and make sure you aren’t exceeding your budget each month. There are websites like mint.com that can help you create a budget and even send you alerts when you near your limit. You should also begin to plan for future credit purchases. Make sure to anticipate how much you can afford in a monthly repayment before making a purchase. Keep your total debt balance below 40% of the limit on your card to ensure you are helping your credit score, and not hurting it.
Getting credit after bankruptcy is not impossible. In fact, there is an entire market for lending to post-bankruptcy consumers. Many companies are willing to offer you credit even fresh out of a bankruptcy. However, be cautious. Not all of these credit offers are good ones. Many carry higher than average interest rates and unfavorable terms. Make sure to spend time rebuilding your credit and balancing your budget before you apply for new credit. When the time is right, be sure to shop around and find the best credit deal you can. Just because you needed a little help with your debts in the past, doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a good deal today.