If you have filed for bankruptcy, you are not alone. Millions of Americans have been forced to take this drastic step to get out from under the crushing weight of debt. The good news is that bankruptcy does not have to be the end of the world. You can improve your credit after bankruptcy! Here are steps you can take to rebuild your credit and establish a solid financial future.
Ways to Establish Your Credit After Bankruptcy
Since your pre-bankruptcy payment history portrays you as an extremely risky borrower to lenders. You need to establish your credit. How can you do this?
1. Use Credit Products
You can assure lenders that they won’t lose money by lending to you by using credit products geared towards helping you improve your financial profile. Here are the credit products you can use:
- secured local bank loans/credit builder
- secured credit card
- Use a co-sign
- Become an authorized user
Local Bank Loan/Credit Builder Loan
Another option to rebuild your credit is to take a small loan from a local bank or credit union, such as a credit builder loan. You can borrow against the money you already have on deposit and only get access to the money once you pay off your loan. You can also get a loan without cash at hand, but the money loaned is placed in a savings account and is released to you once you complete payment. Your financial institution then reports your payment history to credit bureaus.
Get a secured credit card
Getting a secured credit card is a great way to begin rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy. To get a secured credit card, you have to put down a deposit, for example, $200-$300, and the credit card company gives you a credit line for that amount. This cash serves as collateral for the credit limit, thus less risky.
Because there is less risk for the issuer, you are more likely to get approved for a secured credit card even if you have bad credit. However, you have to ensure you make your payments on time and keep your balance low to avoid damaging your credit score. Also, make sure you choose a card with low fees.
Use a Cosigner
If you need help getting approved for a loan, another option is to find a friend or family member willing to cosign the loan with you. A cosigner agrees to make the loan payments if you default. This arrangement is helpful if you have bad credit or no credit because the lender will consider your cosigner’s good credit when approving the loan. However, it is important to remember that if you default on the loan, it will damage your credit score and your cosigner’s good credit rating. Only enter into this arrangement if you’re confident that you can make timely payments each month.
Become an Authorized User on Someone Else’s Credit Card
If you cannot get approved for a credit card, another option is to become an authorized user on someone else’s account. As an authorized user, you are not responsible for making any payments on the account; however, the activity shows up on your credit report. So, if the account holder makes their payments on time and keeps their balance low, their credit score will also benefit. Just be sure you trust the account holder completely because if they miss payments or max out the account, it will also reflect poorly on your credit score.
2. Keep Track of Your Credit Report and Credit Score
It is important to regularly check your credit report for errors or fraudulent activity and dispute any mistakes. You can also monitor your credit score to see how well you manage your financial responsibility. This allows you to track your progress toward rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy and make any necessary adjustments to your financial habits.
3. Work With Reputable Credit Repair Agencies
If you feel overwhelmed or do not have the time to monitor and improve your credit on your own, working with a reputable credit repair agency can be helpful. These agencies can help you identify any mistakes on your credit report and work with creditors and the credit bureaus to correct them.
They may also give you personalized advice for improving your credit score. However, be sure to research and choose a reputable credit repair agency like Ascent Network, as some may charge high fees or use tactics that could harm your credit score.
The Bottom Line
Filing for bankruptcy is a difficult decision that harms your credit. However, by taking steps such as utilizing credit builder loans, getting a secured credit card, becoming an authorized user, and working with a credit repair agency, you can improve your credit score and manage your finances better in the future.
A more positive outlook toward a more financially secure future starts today. Give the Ascent Network a call today at 1-877-871-2400. Ascent Network helps consumers all over the United States and is available locally in Huntington Beach, CA, Coachella Valley, Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio, and Thousand Palms.