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5 strategies for rebuilding your credit score after bankruptcy

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2023 | Bankruptcy

It’s no secret that filing for bankruptcy usually affects your credit score. For most people, a reduced credit score is worth the relief from unaffordable debt. Bankruptcy can greatly reduce or eliminate many debts, but it can also make it tough to get a credit card, mortgage or business loan at reasonable interest rates for several years after completing the process.

The good news is your credit rating does not have to be low for the rest of your life. A Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 filing comes off your credit report eventually. Meanwhile, there are things you can do to start repairing your score and proving your creditworthiness to lenders again. Here are five strategies to consider.

  • Practice good habits. Paying your bills on time consistently and keeping your credit card balance low can start making a difference right away.
  • Get a secured credit card. A secured credit card is a special type of card that requires you to put up a security deposit and then borrow against it. Getting approved for one and paying it off regularly will show up on your credit score.
  • Take out a credit-building loan. Rather than borrowing money to buy a big-ticket item like a house or car, a credit-building loan is for the express purpose of paying it off. The lender places the money in a secured savings account or CD. You make monthly payments until the loan is repaid, showing that you are capable of doing so.
  • Bring on a co-signer. If you need a loan soon after completing bankruptcy, consider asking somebody with a high credit score to co-sign your application. This could be a relative or trusted friend who is willing to take the risk that their own credit score would be damaged by a default.
  • Keep an eye on your credit score. Many online services let you check your credit score for free, as do several credit card companies. Regular monitoring can help you find any red flags you can fix, such as signs of identity theft or inaccurate debts. As you watch your score slowly go up, it can motivate you to keep up what you are doing.

Over time, these and other actions can restore your credit to what it was before bankruptcy.