Many of my clients are curious about life after filing for bankruptcy. Common questions include if they will ever be able to buy a house, car, or get credit cards. There is life after bankruptcy, but it takes time and planning to rebuild your credit.
When your debts have been discharged you have a clean slate, but you also have a red flag on your credit report showing your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. I have compiled a list to help get you on the road to the rebuild your credit rating and avoid future debt problems.
Creating a budget and sticking to it will help you avoid future debt issues and prepare for future large purchases. I recommend that you plan your budget immediately upon filing and start adhering to it to gain a better understanding of where your money is going. There are a number of online tools and resources that can help you plan your budget so that you can set financial goals using principles that work. A great free budgeting tool is Mint.com. For a variety of budgeting resources check out FeedThePig.org.
Start by looking at your expenditures and the money that you have coming in. Then look for ways that you can decrease your costs. Perhaps you can save money on your grocery bills or cut down on the amount you spend on dining out and/or entertainment. Every bit that you can save will help you have funds on-hand for unexpected events. Having discipline when it comes to spending is difficult, but it will help you avoid impulse purchases and save money. Just because you have gone bankrupt doesn’t mean your can’t make purchases. You will still have to buy a lot of the same things you did before. Coupons.com, smartsource.com, redplum.com, shopathome.com and ebates.com are websites that can help you shop smarter.
Get a Secured Credit Card:
Getting a secured credit card is an important step in rebuilding your credit. Secured credit cards require you to deposit money into an account as security. This will get you into the habit of paying your bill on time. Secured creditors will report your payment history to the credit bureau which will help increase your credit rating. CreditKarma.com has helpful information about which credit cards are the best fit for you and even offers FREE credit scores.
Your life is not over after filing for bankruptcy. Take control of your financial future with the steps above and you will be on track to rebuilding your credit.