If you have recently filed for bankruptcy, you might be wondering how to rebuild your credit and get back to your life. While filing bankruptcy can make it feel like you are starting over again, there are many ways to move on from it and start fresh. Here are some tips for improving your credit and surviving the bankruptcy.
Create a New Budget
After you file for bankruptcy, the first thing you should do is create a brand new budget. You now have different debts that you need to take care of, which is usually much less what you had before. Sit down with your spouse and discuss the money coming in, and what expenses and bills must be paid. Also, leave enough room for savings so that if you have financial struggles in the future, there is some cushion there to make up for it and you can hopefully avoid bankruptcy. Make a budget that is realistic and manageable, so don't try to make it too restricted, but don't assume you will get a lot of overtime or can work crazy hours for more money if you don't know for sure that you can.
Set Up Automatic Bill Payments
You probably ended up in bankruptcy due to not paying your bills. Now that you have a firm grasp on your budget and what you can and can't afford, you will be able to get a better handle on paying your bills. The key to rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy is showing that you can pay your current bills on time. To make it easier on yourself, consider setting up automatic bill payments. You can do this with your online bank account or with the different creditors individually. Many phone, cable, and Internet companies accept automatic bill payments, in addition to credit cards. The only bills you should be paying manually each month are related to medical expenses and some other miscellaneous bills.
Get a Secured Credit Card
Instead of rushing out to sign up for more credit cards and store credit cards, start slow with just one secured credit card. This is an appropriate card for anyone with less-than-perfect credit. Instead of providing you with a large credit balance, you will load money onto the card, and only use the amount you put on the card. You need to pay the balance on time each month for the credit card to report positive information to credit bureaus. Most people are approved for the card, and it helps you to start building your credit.