As the economy declines, more and more Americans are falling into debt, and more of us are filing for bankruptcy every day. Bankruptcy can be viewed as a fresh start, removing much of your debt and payments, but it will also destroy your credit report, remaining there for ten years, and diminishing it by several hundred points. In most cases, bankruptcy should be seen as a last resort because of how important it is to maintain a healthy credit score. If you are forced to file for bankruptcy, there are certain measures you should take to ensure that you can get on the road to financial recovery as quickly as possible.
The first step to rebuilding a healthy credit score, of course, is to know what it is. Be positive that it is free of mistakes or errors because inaccurate information will extend the amount of time that it will take to score high enough for conventional credit. Everyone with a credit score is entitled to a free credit report every twelve months from each national credit bureau. That means you could check your score at all three bureaus at once to compare the scores, or check your credit score every four months to make sure that the information is accurate. Either way, make sure you are on the up and up.
After bankruptcy, it is a smart idea to obtain a secured credit card. Usually, these cards are credit cards that are secured by a deposit account (generally a savings account) that the cardholder is owner of. These cards are made for people with poor credit so that they can stay in low credit-limit situations for a long time at a high interest rate, so that you can build up a good history after bankruptcy. Additionally, having more than one kind of credit line will help improve your credit report.
One of the keys to having a good credit score is to have at least two credit cards from well known and respected banks, and other payments such as a house payment. The people who have excellent credit reports keep balances below fifteen percent of available credit every month. Around ten percent of your credit reports is based on the kinds of credit that you use.
Another ten percent is based on new credit accounts that include credit lines that you are able to establish after filing for bankruptcy. Bear in mind if you are looking to repair your credit after declaring bankruptcy that some credit “doctor” or credit repair businesses might make sensational claims that they can miraculously fix your credit file, many times for an exorbitant fee. It is pertinent to remember that only time, not some magic cure can cause your negative credit history to drop off of your credit score.