Rebuilding your credit score after bankruptcy can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. In fact, many of our clients have a credit score between 680-700, just one year after filing for bankruptcy. The key to understanding how to rebuild your credit score is understanding the process.
Below are some helpful tips that have worked for our clients.
- Get Your Credit Report. You can and should check your credit report regularly. Credit.com offers two free credit scores, which are updated monthly. You are also entitled to a free annual credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus.
- Start Small. Begin with a secured credit card and pay it on-time every month. Eventually, you can get approved for an unsecured credit card with a small credit limit. Continued on-time payments will help improve your credit history and in turn improve your credit score.
- Use Lines of Credit Responsibly. Do not obtain a new line of credit and then max out the balance. Experts recommend keeping your credit card utilization below 30%. For example, if you have a credit card with a $1,000 credit limit, you do not want to charge more than $300 each month.
- Pay on Time. With continued on-time payments and proper management of your finances, your credit score will begin to improve following a bankruptcy.
- Monitor Your Credit. Certain negative reporting may be removed if a creditor cannot validate the debt. By keeping a close eye on your credit report, you can dispute certain negative marks. Equifax offers a user-friendly online dispute tool for this purpose.
- Understand Student Loans. If you have student loan debt, it is important to understand that these loans cannot be discharged through bankruptcy. Non-payment on student loans can prevent you from getting a mortgage or future lines of credit. Payment deferments, forbearance and missed payments can cause balances to increase significantly. The best way to tackle student loan debt is to set up a realistic repayment plan with your lender and stick to it.
If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.