Making A Fresh Start After Bankruptcy
For a bankruptcy filing to be truly successful, the entire process should be viewed in the most positive manner possible. For many, the most difficult part of the process is making the decision in the first place. It's only natural that it be difficult, since most people take their financial responsibilities seriously, but one of the main benefits of a bankruptcy filing is the ability to make a fresh start. Read on for some tips to help ensure that you make the most of an unfortunate situation and go on to achieve your financial goals.
1. Many people are burdened by sudden and unexpected medical bills or a job loss, which can often lead to a bankruptcy filing. Be certain that you are not relying on excuses to help yourself feel better about your financial situation. Once you are able to view your past financial history with an unemotional eye, take stock of how your poor decisions may have led you bankruptcy. You will only be able to move forward toward your financial goals, be it a home or just a healthy savings account, when you understand the importance of putting aside money for emergencies and budget properly.
2. Your credit report is an online report card that shows potential creditors that you can use credit wisely, so keeping a close eye on it and correcting errors in a timely manner is vital. Many online sites exist to provide you with your credit report, but there is only one site that does this free of charge. You are entitled to one free report per year at this site, so review it for errors and especially take note of creditors that should have been included in your bankruptcy. Your federal bankruptcy filing should appear, but any accounts included in the bankruptcy should not be showing up in an arrears status.
3. If you were worried about getting credit cards after your bankruptcy, you will likely be surprised by the influx of offers arriving as soon as your bankruptcy is final. In fact, certain types of creditors use your filing information, which is public information, to target consumers who they deem desperate for credit. These offers typically offer high interest rates and high fee cards, so be sure to scrutinize that fine print before applying.
4. There are several free sites that allow you to monitor your credit score and information about credit inquiries free of charge. You can see an approximate score from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion if you are willing to put up with the ad and offers on these sites.
5. People with bankruptcies in their past can and do qualify for home loans, if enough time has passed from the final disposition. FHA loans are available if you are at least 2 years past bankruptcy and your credit report shows a wise use of credit since the bankruptcy.
You can rise above your bankruptcy to attain your financial goals if you understand how your financial situation became so chaotic and you are able to make better decisions in the future. For more information, contact a bankruptcy lawyer, like one at Dunbar & Dunbar.