What to do after your bankruptcy discharge?
You filed bankruptcy and your debts were discharged. Hopefully, your case closed shortly thereafter. You may ask yourself, what should I do next to move forward? A bankruptcy filing can remain on your credit report up to 10 years for Chapter 7 filings and 7 years for Chapter 13 filings. That does not mean you can’t start building your credit right away. Here are some steps you may want to consider:
- Get a credit card. Find a card with the lowest fees. Be sure to make payments promptly every month. When your credit improves, ask for better rates. Try to avoid high balances and live within your means.
- Avoid credit repair companies. Many of them are scams and do not provide meaningful services.
- Pull your credit report. Go to annualcreditreport.com. Make sure debts you filed are listed as discharged in bankruptcy. If they continue to list information as delinquent then object to the information being reported.
- Plan for a bigger loan such as a vehicle. Credit cards help credit but other loans help. Vehicle financing companies will bombard you with offers right after your discharge goes through. Try to avoid these companies as they often offer only high interest loans. Try to save a down payment and consider financing through a local bank or credit union a year or so after getting your discharge.
- Plan for a mortgage. FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans generally require 2 years after your discharge before they will offer a loan. Many big home loan programs may require 4 years. If you want to purchase a home, start saving so you’ll have a down payment when you’re eligible.
If you make smart choices then you can rebound from bankruptcy and it’ll be a small road bump in your story. If you are suffering from financial difficulties consider giving our firm a call. We offer a free consultation where we go over your options.
At the law offices of Andersen, Ellis & Shephard, we have represented thousands of individuals in consumer bankruptcy filings.