Bankruptcy Credit Score & Credit Reports
Tips on improving your bankruptcy credit score
One of the biggest concerns for those who have been recently bankrupt is that of their bankruptcy credit score - namely, how to improve it. Don't worry, it is possible, and the sooner you start, the sooner you'll have good credit.
How does bankruptcy affect credit score and credit report?
What is a credit score? A credit score is a number based on the record of your credit history. It gives lenders an idea of how likely you are to repay them if they loan you money. A number of factors affect your credit score - how regularly you make payments, the number of accounts you have open, and if you have ever been denied a loan.
Beware of credit repair scams - no service, no matter how many television advertisements, fliers, or billboards they put up - can improve your post bankruptcy credit score by doing anything you cannot do yourself. And these companies will charge for these unnecessary services.
To start improving your bankruptcy credit score immediately, order a copy of your credit report. Request a copy from each of the three major companies - Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. You are guaranteed a free report if you are unemployed and searching for a job, if you receive welfare benefits, or if you suspect that there are mistakes on your report.
Read through each report and verify that the bankruptcy is listed, as well as the appropriate debt removed. If you notice any mistakes, correct them and include documentation before returning to the company, which will then send a revised credit report.
Now you need to reestablish yourself in the financial world and start making payments. A good way to begin is to open a bank account and save some money. Banks provide authority and association will help restore your credit.
Apply for a credit card. Making regular payments will improve your credit score. Your best bet is to apply for a secured credit card, which requires you to deposit the amount of your limit - if you deposit $200, your limit is $200. This way you are protected from missing a payment, as the bank will apply your deposit towards your balance.
Personal loans work the same way. Even you take out a small loan, repaying it will increase your credit standing by proving that lenders can trust you. To find out more about these options, check our page on getting credit after bankruptcy.
Contact a non-profit or government credit counseling service for further measures on how to improve your post-bankruptcy credit score.