When can I start the process of rebuilding my credit? 12 Answers as of June 08, 2011

I have received a discharge from my bankruptcy and I want to start building my credit back. What are the steps I need to take in order to get a better credit score?

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Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law
Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law | Daniel Hoarfrost
Better credit scores come from paying your debts in a timely manner.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/8/2011
Burnham & Associates
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
The best steps to take to rebuild your credit after Bankruptcy begin with secured loans. If you have reaffirmed the debt on a car or home, payments on-time will begin boosting your credit score. You also may want to consider a small ($200) pre-paid credit card that you use sparingly to show that you can manage credit.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 6/8/2011
Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
I wouldn't start rebuilding credit yet. Instead, I'd start saving, continuing to work and pay your usual expenses, and living on cash. You should, however, check your credit reports to be sure all debts are shown properly to have been included in the bankruptcy. I've been told that applying too quickly for credit causes another ping on your score. My clients have told me that they start getting offers of credit after awhile; in that case, read the offer and interest rate carefully and apply for the best. Then use it, pay it when the statement comes, and continue doing that. If you must apply for credit, there are secured credit cards. But watch out that they don't come with a lot of up-front fees.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 6/8/2011
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
You should look into getting a secured credit card.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 6/8/2011
Law Office of Dennis Jay Sargent Jr, PLLC
Law Office of Dennis Jay Sargent Jr, PLLC | Dennis J Sargent Jr.
Generally speaking, once you receive your discharge in bankruptcy you can start to rebuild your credit. There is a number of sites on the internet that will indicate that they can rebuild your credit for a fee. Stay away from those sites. The first thing you should do, even if you have not filed bankruptcy is to pull your credit report. You are entitled to one free credit report once every 12 months from each of the three credit reporting companies. You can get your free report from http://www.annualcreditreport.com. If you go to a site and they want to charge you a fee you are on the wrong site. Once you have your credit report, make sure that you read it and understand it. You can dispute your report by sending the credit reporting agencies a notice. It's a simple letter and the credit agencies have to verify and correct any mistaken information. You should know that once a debt is discharged the creditor can only show a zero balance. To start rebuilding your credit, you should get a loan from a reputable bank or a credit card from a reputable issuer. You may have to start with a secured card. If that is the case, make sure that the company reports to all three credit agencies. Make sure you make your payments on time and payoff any balance you have. Remember, credit is a privilege and if you abuse it you may not be able to be helped.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 6/8/2011
    The Law Offices of Alan M. Laskin
    The Law Offices of Alan M. Laskin | Jared B. Gaynor
    Here are the basic rules - time wasted does not build credit; credit builds credit. You need to get some sort of new credit (a card, a car loan, etc.), and use it WISELY. This will rebuild your damaged credit over time.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Start small. Get one card, make small purchases of things you actually need. Pay it off on time. Remember that when you carry a balance you are paying allot of interest.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    The main way to restore credit after a bankruptcy discharge is to pay all bills on time.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC | Richard James Symmes
    Prior to filing bankruptcy, debtors may receive letters from credit card companies telling them that they have been pre-approved for a credit card despite the debtor having terrible credit. Credit card companies prey on these types of debtors so that they may charge very high interest rates and plunge a debtor further into debt. If you are a debtor considering filing bankruptcy, you should wait until after you file bankruptcy to sign up for new credit cards. This is because all of your pre-petition credit card accounts are likely to be shut down and closed. By signing up for credit cards after filing bankruptcy, it allows you to re-build your credit. The key is to make sure that you are able to pay off your credit cards every month, as your new credit cards may be at a higher interest rate than before. Because credit card companies know that you cannot file for chapter 7 bankruptcy for another 8 years from your original filing date, they are more than willing to extend a post bankruptcy debtor credit.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    Apply for credit cards. You will get offers in the mail from banks that specialize in people fresh out of bankruptcy. f you are turned down for credit cards then get a secured credit card where you deposit money which guarantees you will pay. Also, if you need a car there are many places where you can buy a car on credit after bankruptcy although you will probably need a down payment and the interest rate will be higher.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    This sounds like you made the disastrous decision to file a BR without counsel. Counsel would have not only explained the steps, but would have advised you of things to do during the case that would help. Since you missed some opportunities in not using a lawyer, I'll mention the main one - challenge any inaccurate information on your credit report.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/7/2011
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