Rebuilding Your Credit

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Rebuilding Your Credit After Bankruptcy

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Individuals who are considering bankruptcy often fear that they will never again get credit, or that it will be at least 10 years post-bankruptcy before they will be able to obtain credit. Neither of these is true and our Charlotte bankruptcy lawyers at Saffa Law Group will explain to you why.

Common Questions Regarding Credit

Will my credit record be completely ruined?
Bankruptcy will simply make all the debt shown in the negative history unenforceable. A person who filed, objectively speaking, looks like a far better credit risk after bankruptcy than before. However, credit managers are individuals who might not necessarily have a good understanding of bankruptcy, and subjectively speaking, might not bother looking beyond any of its negative facets.

Will bankruptcy ruin my chances of buying a house?
Bankruptcy will not ruin your chances of becoming a homeowner. Within 18-24 months of a bankruptcy discharge, a debtor already has the ability to qualify for a loan and on the same terms as if the debtor had never filed for bankruptcy. Hence, lenders would concern themselves more with what kind of down payment you can afford, that you have a stable form of income and the correlation between your monthly take-home pay and loan payments. Past financial troubles, in this type of instance, would most likely be of little consequence to a lender.

Will I be able to get new credit?
In a word, yes. It seems to be commonplace for discharged debtors to be frequently solicited for new credit cards. In the highly competitive lending environment of today, the recently bankrupt do have new credit available. Perhaps it will be more expensive than prior to bankruptcy, and with lower credit limits, but nonetheless, obtainable. Post-bankruptcy, a secured credit card is generally available at lower rates than unsecured credit cards.

The process of rebuilding one's credit worthiness is a matter of first acquiring a newly strengthened foot-hold in the credit system, and then using this opportunity wisely. It is critical to your financial success to use credit cards with caution, and to pay off the balances on time. Paying off entire balances on cards each month is much more worthwhile for good credit than just making the minimum payments. Try to make a habit of only spending what you know you can pay off in its entirety each month. Set healthy, realistic limits for yourself. Over time, this will steadily improve your credit score.

Many of us consumers have a tendency to think of our credit record synonymously with credit worthiness; there is a difference. For instance, faithfully making payments, on time, over for the span of one's entire life does not guarantee one is worthy of more credit, if at the same time the person can never pay off a credit balance entirely. Where credit reports are concerned, bankruptcy discharges will not erase discharged creditors or payment history prior to bankruptcy. Following a debt discharge, the outstanding balance for each discharged account should reflect as zero.

Credit Reports after Bankruptcy

For a period of 10 years from the filing of the case, your bankruptcy can reflect on your credit report. If you are making a steady income, you should be more credit worthy after a bankruptcy than prior to, because any previous debts have now ceased to stake a claim on any of your future earnings.

Negative history showing on your credit report is not "credit suicide," and does not necessarily have to mean eternal rejections. However, it can challenge you in a positive way to really strengthen your financial grasp in the present, by using tried and true methods of saving and using credit carefully.

Always remember: Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have the right to challenge information that you believe is inaccurate. If a certain credit reporting agency fails to validate the accuracy of the information in question, they are legally bound to remove it from the report. Consumers are entitled to a free credit report annually from each of the 3 major credit reporting agencies:

  • Equifax
  • Experian
  • Transunion

Take advantage of this service, and check the report against your own records to ensure accuracy. You have the right to know the details of what shows on your credit report.

Find out more about rebuilding credit after bankruptcy. Contact Saffa Law Group for your free initial case review with our team of Charlotte bankruptcy lawyers.