Making the decision to file for bankruptcy is a big deal. Although it can help you get a financial fresh start, bankruptcy could affect your credit and other parts of your life for a while. However, it’s completely possible to get your life back together afterward if you’re willing to put in the work. Here are several important things you should after filing bankruptcy.
Keep the Paperwork in a Safe Place
After your bankruptcy is all finished, your lawyer will give you a copy of your bankruptcy petition and discharge order. It’s important to put these documents in a safe place. You never know when you might need these documents in the future, like when applying for a loan or if a former creditor tries to collect old debt.
Create a Budget
One of the biggest reasons people get into major debt is because they live above their means and don’t budget properly. To avoid getting into the same predicament in the future, make a realistic budget and stick to it. Start by writing down all your monthly expenses and seeing what you can cut out. For example, you might be able to cut cable and restaurant trips out and save more money.
Build an Emergency Fund
It’s always good to plan for a rainy day. You never know when you might lose your job or have an unexpected medical expense. If you start building an emergency fund right now, you won’t have to rely on credit cards in the future and find yourself in the same situation you were in before. It’s okay if you can’t put away hundreds of dollars a month right now. Even if you put just $100 toward your emergency fund this month, it’s a great start.
Start Rebuilding Your Credit
It’s true that your credit rating takes a hit after filing for bankruptcy. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t rebuild it over time. A few months after your bankruptcy, apply for a low limit credit card and only use it to buy necessities, like food and gas. Pay it off in full every month. This will show other creditors that you’re serious about making your payments on time. In the future, you may be more likely to get approved or bigger loans, like mortgages.
Check Your Credit Reports Regularly
It’s a good idea to check your credit reports at least once a year. You want to ensure that all of the debts you discharged in bankruptcy is being reported to the credit bureaus with zero balance so that it doesn’t count against you as outstanding debt.
If you have additional questions about your bankruptcy, contact a qualified bankruptcy lawyer, like a bankruptcy law firm in Oklahoma City, OK, today.
Thank you to the experts at MartinWren, P.C. for their input into bankruptcy law.