Ways you can rebuild your credit after bankruptcy
Bankruptcy may stay on your credit report for the next 10 years, but that does not mean you can't start recovering now. Credit is trust, and you can rebuild it after bankruptcy through positive activity and accountability. If you take action now, you can and will rebuild your credit score.
Step One: Create a Credit Repair Plan
The first step to rebuilding credit after bankruptcy is to start a credit repair plan. You may decide to go at it alone or with the help of a reputable credit repair service, but you should start planning now to rebuild your credit score.
Compare your credit report with your accounts. Look for inconsistencies, like duplicate negative listings or open collections that should have been discharged in bankruptcy.
Step Two: Open a Personal Line of Credit
Start rebuilding your credit score by opening a personal line of credit. Many companies offer credit incentives to new customers, including department, appliance, electronics and office supply stores. Take advantage of them and build a positive payment history with your new line of credit.
Step Three: Open Another Personal Line of Credit
Opening a second line of credit may seem counterintuitive, but this step is necessary to build your creditworthiness. Continue to make purchases and build up a solid payment history, paying off the full balance every month if possible.
Step Four: Establish a Secured Credit Card Account
Opening a secured credit card with a reputable bank or credit union is one of the easiest ways to re-establish your credit. When you get a secured card, you give some money to the bank to hold and the bank establishes a credit limit of that amount. For instance, if you give the bank $500, you receive a credit card with a $500 limit.
Look out for outrageous fees and choose a bank that reports to all three major credit bureaus – TransUnion, Experian and Equifax.
Step Five: Build a Solid Payment History
Opening new accounts shows that creditors and lenders are extending credit to you. Prove you can handle it by building a positive payment history. Limit your usage to no more than 30 percent and pay your bills on time, every time.