Does this mean your credit is ruined? Unfortunately for a time, Yes, you will have a negative mark on your credit report —10 years to be exact. But there are steps that you can take now to help improve your credit score.
- First things first, get a copy of your credit report. Look for any inaccuracies and report them immediately.
- Open up a secured credit card. Head into a bank and give them a deposit and you can open up a secured credit card. You pay the bank before you make your purchases. But your timely purchases and payments get reported to the credit bureau.
- Purchase a car. Sounds funny after just completing bankruptcy. But by having a small, installment loan for a car and paying it on time, will help build up your credit score.
- Time. Time is your best asset. Paying your bills on time for years will help bring your score up considerably. Look into automatic payment plans. Most companies will offer paper free billing and set this up for you automatically. No more late payments.
If you still struggle with over spending and not living within your means you may need to take a budgeting class. Educate yourself. Your local community or local college may offer free classes to the community.
If you can’t find any local classes, start by writing a budget. List all your expenses and income for the month. Allocate where your money should go to. If you budget $200 for food then when you spend $200 for food you stop. Know that if you overspend in one area, it is money you are going to have to find somewhere else. Sometimes seeing the numbers on paper helps you realize where your spending habits have gone wrong.
Set aside a small amount each week for an emergency fund. Life is full of unexpected circumstances, don’t be stuck in one with no way out.