Filing bankruptcy is never an easy decision to make. When a person has fallen into too much debt, then it is usually a last resort. However, filing bankruptcy does not mean that your credit is ruined forever. The action stays on your credit report for seven to ten years, but there are many things that you can do in that time to reestablish yourself with creditors. Rebuilding credit does not happen overnight, but with a budget, new credit and on-time payments, you can get back on track and have good credit long before the record of the bankruptcy falls off from your credit report.
Get Yourself Together
Don’t beat yourself up over the need to file bankruptcy. Millions of people have had to file bankruptcy for numerous reasons including job loss, business failure, illness, divorce, and generally just the obvious strains that this historically bad economy has imposed on most of us. Bankruptcy gives you the opportunity for a fresh start, and truly gives you the ability to get back on track financially. Treat it as an opportunity not a setback.
Check Your Credit Report
Once you have filed personal bankruptcy, it is time to check your credit report. You can get them from the three major companies, TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. You can also get them once a year for free. It is important to check your credit report to make sure that all accounts listed are up-to-date and yours. Many times there are mistakes, but they can be disputed and fixed. Since you are starting with a new slate, it is a good idea to check every account on your credit report.
Set a Budget
One of the most important things to do is to set a budget after filing personal bankruptcy. In order to rebuild credit, it is significant to understand why you had to file in the first place. You do not want to make the same mistakes twice, so it is a good idea to be realistic in your income and what you can and cannot afford. Making changes to your lifestyle and budget might need to be done. Controlling your spending and saving up your money is the best thing you can do for yourself. Some easy ways to save money every month are to pay with cash, cook at home, car pool and buy only what you can afford.
Build New Credit
Building new credit is hard for some people because some creditors may not want to give them credit. However, with the right approach, rebuilding your credit quickly can be achieved. In my opinion the single best resource for learning proper strategies for rebuilding your credit can be found at a free forum located at www.creditboards.com. On this forum, people who have gone through the same experiences as well as others who have great knowledge of the credit world are available to educate you on the ways to rebuild your credit. The common myth is that it takes 7 to 10 years to get credit again. In my experience this is not true. Spend some time on credit boards and you will see what I mean.
Keep Up the Good Work
Once you have set your budget, checked your credit report and established new credit for the future, then you can concentrate on staying on top of things. This means that you should stay within your financial means, pay all your bills on time and check your credit report often for mistakes.
These five steps should help you to rebuild credit after filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The next seven to ten years should not feel like a jail sentence because there are ways to live debt free and have financial freedom. It just takes time, patience and self-control.