Hello, ARBonauts! It’s been awhile since we had a guest speaker here on the site. So let’s give a warm welcome to freelance finance/business write Grace Fenson! She’s here to talk about recovering from bankruptcy, which is no small feat.
Okay Grace, you may start……….wait for it……..not yet………….and, GO!
After filing for bankruptcy, pulling it all back together, especially your financial world, might seem impossible, and it definitely isn’t easy.
However there are steps that you can take to make the process a little easier and to ensure that you avoid finding yourself in the same financial dilemma again. These are small steps that all take minimal effort, but they can completely change your habits and outlook. Just use this situation as an opportunity to learn, and follow these steps to improve your credit and increase financial security.
Figure Out The Cause
Chances are that you already have an idea why you have been in financial trouble. Whether it was because of medical debt, overspending, or just bad decisions, there are changes that you can make to your life to make finances easier.
In order to move in a positive direction, you have to get to the root of the problem and tackle it to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself. To get there, you have to fully understand why you filed for bankruptcy in the first place. If you have not already figured out what went wrong, really analyze your financial history.
This way you can address the problem and come up with a plan. If you are struggling to understand or can’t seem to figure out any solutions, do not be afraid to seek the help and advice of an expert.
Set Definitive Goals
Once you have figured out why you have found yourself in financial trouble, you can finally start making a plan to get yourself out of the situation. You want to be sure to set definitive goals to help dig yourself out of this hole.
A good start is creating a budget for yourself. When you create your new budget, you can be should pay close attention to the areas where you had financial issues. Consider what you want to achieve through your budget, and set goals accordingly.
When you are setting goals, it is also the time to imagine where you see yourself in the future. Be sure that your goals are real and attainable. Think about your goals for the week, month, and year, instead of just setting ambiguous end goals, like generally improving your credit.
When you’re addressing huge goals like that, you need to think of weekly or monthly goals that will lead you there gradually. For example, step one could be deciding what your necessary expenses are. Step two would be cutting out what isn’t necessary.
Slowly shed your old spending habits, and create new, healthy ones
Figure out Your Credit Score and Monitor It
Another way to get everything back together after bankruptcy is by not ignoring your credit score.
It definitely will not be fun to check it, but it is necessary so you can move on and improve your life. You will not have good credit after filing bankruptcy, and that’s a fact. However, once you know what your credit score is, you can start to repair it. Knowing your score allows you to make appropriate goals for raising it.
Also, the next time you check, you will be able to see how well the methods you are trying are actually helping your credit score. If it’s not working as quickly as you’d like, you can evaluate and readjust.
Get a Secured Credit Card
The best way to increase your credit and live a somewhat normal life is to get a secured credit card. A secured credit card will give you the opportunity to prove that you are trustworthy and can pay your bills on time.
However, a secured credit card won’t be exactly the same as an unsecured credit card. As a general rule, secured credit cards have higher interest rates and it is possible to be rejected. Also, you will be required to put down a deposit in order to get a secured credit card.
However, it will help your credit score and show that you are capable of being responsible. Now that you have filed bankruptcy, your options to build credit are limited, so you have to do whatever you can. Obtaining a secured credit card is the first step toward improving credit and being able to use an unsecured credit card.
Be Persistent and Build Habits
Improving your credit score and moving on from bankruptcy can be difficult, but there is no reason you shouldn’t try to make it as easy as possible. All you need to do is stay focused, responsible, and determined.
The steps listed above can help improve your credit and get you back to living a normal life much more quickly than making no effort all. Just check your credit score on a regular basis and make plans and set goals accordingly. You do not have to be powerless after bankruptcy. You can educate yourself and take these steps to improve your financial situation and overall life.
Readers–What do YOU think!? Has anyone here had to pull their lives back from the financial brink after a bankruptcy? What was it like? What was being in bankruptcy like? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!