The decision to file for bankruptcy is typically a last resort for consumers who find themselves plagued with debt. While bankruptcy may offer a fresh start and relief from bills incurred from divorce, unemployment and uninsured medical costs, many consumers worry about how the decision will ultimately impact their financial future.
“Most people who contemplate bankruptcy fear they will never again own a credit card or be able to buy a home or get a new car or even take a vacation,” says Paula Langguth Ryan, author of “Bouncing Back from Bankruptcy.” “There are a lot of misconceptions about obtaining credit after bankruptcy.”
If you have filed for bankruptcy and are wondering whether you should apply for credit, and how to go about rebuilding your credit score, you aren’t alone. A report from the Automated Access to Court Electronic Records released in June found that consumer and commercial bankruptcy filings are on pace to reach 1.5 million in 2009.
Ryan, who once filed for bankruptcy, now counsels others on how to achieve financial freedom and avoid feeling overextended. She says some of the most common misconceptions about obtaining credit after bankruptcy include:
1. Filing for bankruptcy will permanently ruin my credit.
Many people actually obtain a higher credit score in the years following a bankruptcy if they successfully change their spending habits.
As you work to re-establish yourself as a good credit risk, Ryan recommends making sure your credit reports are accurate. To get a free copy of your credit report, visit annualcreditreport.com. The three major credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
“Under a new federal law, consumers are entitled to receive free copies of their credit reports from all credit bureaus every 12 months,” Ryan says. “All three reports can be ordered via telephone by calling (877) 322-8228. You also don’t need to order all three reports at once, by staggering your requests, you can order one from each credit reporting agency every four months.”
– Posted By Timothy Kingcade