How Do I Repair My Credit After Bankruptcy?
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When a person declares bankruptcy, that individual's bankruptcy remains on his or her credit reports for seven to ten years from the bankruptcy filing. During this time, the debtor's credit report will inevitably take a major hit, especially in the few years immediately following the bankruptcy filing. Fortunately, there are numerous steps that debtors can take to dramatically improve their credit scores well before their seven to ten years are up. With the right action plan in place, you can greatly minimize the damage that occurs to your credit after bankruptcy and build your way back up to financial stability sooner rather than later.
At The Bankruptcy Law Firm, we have Oakland bankruptcy lawyers who can guide you through the process of repairing your credit. We can help you set up an action plan that meets your specific needs and circumstances. In the meantime, here are a few general tips that people should take after they file for bankruptcy:
Make payments on time: The more you remain consistent with paying your bills on time, the more positive credit activity you generate for your credit report. As time passes, this ongoing positive activity will help your credit score to rise, and your bankruptcy will eventually have less and less impact on your credit. It may be helpful to set up monthly reminders for yourself or to sign up for automatic payments for your bills. It can take a few years before you start seeing a significant impact of this recovery step.
Stick to your budget: Without a fresh financial mindset, you can easily gravitate back into the cycle of debt you were trapped in before. To keep control of your debt, set up a strict budget for yourself and stick to it. Avoid purchasing things you can't actually afford.
Don't completely abandon credit: While you don't want to overdo it on the credit, you also don't want to end up with absolutely no credit activity, as this in itself can harm your credit score. You should maintain a modest amount of credit so that you 1) keep your credit score generating, and 2) show lenders that you can be trusted with credit. Do, however, avoid reaching your credit card limits so that you can keep your debt-to-credit ratio low, as this plays a factor in your credit score.
Regularly check your credit reports: After your bankruptcy, you will need to check your credit reports to make sure that the debts you had discharged are showing up with zero balances. You should ensure that there is no misreporting related to your debts, such as debts that were not part of the bankruptcy being reported as discharged, or the listing of accounts on your credit report that you do not recognize. If you find inaccurate information, you should immediately dispute it with the credit bureaus.
These are just a few of the various steps that you can take to get back on financial track after your bankruptcy filing. Contact The Bankruptcy Law Firm to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Oakland, California who can help you get started on your financial recovery - (510) 270-2782!