How to rebuild credit after bankruptcy

You likely filed bankruptcy to regain control over your financial situation. While it is huge relief to know that you have your debt under control, it also may be a bit scary to know that you no longer have any credit accounts. Having good credit is important if you ever want to buy anything that you cannot pay for in full upfront, such as a vehicle or real estate.

Rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy will take time, but it is not an impossible or even difficult task. U.S. News and World Report explains that bankruptcy will have an immediate negative effect on your credit score, but that does not last forever. If you file Chapter 7, the bankruptcy stays on your credit for 10 years, but related accounts may come off earlier.

Options to rebuild

You may think nobody will want to give you credit after bankruptcy, but that is not the case. When you file bankruptcy, you cannot do so again for eight years, so creditors look at this favorably. They know that is one less risk when lending to you. You may get a lot of offers in the mail once you file.

Some of these will be secured credit cards, which require a deposit. They work just like an unsecured card to build your credit. You may also get offers for unsecured cards, but these often have additional fees and high interest rates.

You may have other options as well, such as a credit builder loan. This type of loan is for borrowers with poor or no credit. They are usually for amounts under $1,000. Another option is becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit card. You can get a credit boost without the liability of having the card yourself.

Whatever option you choose, it is important that you approach it carefully. Be responsible and avoid making the mistakes that helped lead to your bankruptcy.