A Law Career

There Is Life After Bankruptcy: Making A Fresh Start

by Ruby Mckinney

Most people only declare bankruptcy as a last-ditch effort to get out from under a burden of debt and to make a fresh financial start. Your financial future can be quite uncertain when you are in the middle of the process, but once you file you will undoubtedly begin to feel a great sense of relief. Many bankruptcy filers wonder sadly if they will ever be able to use credit again to buy a car or a house, since the federal filing stays on your credit report for a very long time. All is not lost, however, people do recover from bankruptcy and go on to a much better financial future, so read on to learn more about life after bankruptcy.

1. Before you can make better financial decisions, you should examine the reasons that landed you in bankruptcy court in the first place. Only by examining your mistakes can you avoid repeating them in the future. Fortunately, making a budget, learning to use credit more wisely, putting aside money for emergencies, etc are all skills that can be learned.

2. Your credit report is your financial status report, so make it a habit to view your report every few weeks. Once your bankruptcy is final, ensure that all debts included in your bankruptcy petition are showing the correct status on your report, not as open or accounts in arrears. Any inaccuracies must be reported, in writing, to each of the 3 main credit reporting agencies.

3. Be wary of credit card offers that arrive soon after your bankruptcy is complete. These creditors use the public filings database to target consumers who have no credit thanks to their recent bankruptcy. Often, these cards offer punitive high interest rates and numerous fees just to have an account.

4. Keep up with your credit status by using a free site; don't get suckered into a monitoring program that you have to pay for. These sites have the unpleasant side effect of ads and credit card "suggestions", but the information is reliable and free. Check out Creditkarma.com and Credit.com. Additionally, use the internet for more help and support in your journey back to good credit by visiting a forum like Creditboards, where you can ask questions about credit and everything credit-related and hear some success stories from those in the same boat as you.

Your financial fresh start is closer than you think. Talk to a bankruptcy attorney, like one at Dunbar & Dunbar, for more information about declaring bankruptcy.