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How Long After Bankruptcy Can I Get a Credit Card?

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Technically, bankruptcy debtors could get credit cards the day after they emerge from bankruptcy. There is no waiting period.

Realistically, filing for bankruptcy lowers your credit score. Anyone who says otherwise is probably inexperienced in this area. However, the impact is not as bad as most people believe it is. In fact, most former debtors had credit scores above 640 less than two years after their bankruptcies were closed. Most people qualify for credit cards with that score, although they might pay a slightly higher interest rate or face some other small restrictions.

A post-bankruptcy credit card is usually a good idea. Demonstrating responsible credit use is a good way to raise your score. More on that below.

An Indiana bankruptcy lawyer does much more than file paperwork. An attorney stands up for you throughout this legal process, especially if things go sideways and the judge orders a hearing. Furthermore, after bankruptcy, an attorney points you in the right direction, so you may begin raising your score. With an Indiana bankruptcy lawyer’s help, your credit score could be much higher than average.

Credit Card Tips

Many of our clients receive a flood of post-bankruptcy credit card offers. These banks know that a discharge waiting period applies, so the chances of credit card default are smaller. Therefore, most people have lots of credit card choices.

We usually recommend a secured credit card or at least one with a low spending limit. These safeguards minimize the temptation to overspend. This bad habit is often a contributing cause to a bankruptcy filing.

To raise their scores, debtors should charge something on the card every month and make on-time payments every month. Leaving a small carryover balance every month is usually a good idea. If the bank charges interest and makes money, it usually sends a more favorable report to credit reporting agencies.

As your score rises, request spending limit increases. The larger the limit, the better the credit score improvement. However, debtors should always avoid paying for large luxury items, like a long European vacation, solely with a credit card.

Additionally, remember that a credit card is a two-edged sword. If you fall behind on payments, even slightly behind, your credit score will go down much faster than it went up.

Raising Your Credit Score

Responsible use of a credit card may be the best way to raise your credit score. But it is certainly not the only way.

An Indiana bankruptcy lawyer generally connects former debtors with banks that work with people who have damaged credit. These connections enable these individuals to buy appliances, cars, and even houses on credit.

Many banks are eager to work with former bankruptcy debtors. They can charge higher interest for these high-risk loans.

Expanding credit use is a good idea. Making on-time payments on current obligations, come hell or high water, is an even better idea. Simply paying current bills on time, especially auto and home loan payments, is a significant chunk of your credit score. Anyone can make these on-time payments, even if they are not ready to borrow money.

If possible, make 13 payments a month instead of twelve. Most people do not miss the extra $100 or so per month. This good habit builds a reserve that enables families to weather the next financial storm which comes their way.

Count on a Diligent Lake County Attorney

No matter what financial emergency you face, bankruptcy could be a way out. For a free consultation with an experienced Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney in Indiana, contact Whitten & Whitten. We routinely handle matters throughout the Hoosier State.

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