Q How Long Until I Can Get a Credit Card After Bankruptcy?
The offers for credit cards start coming in almost as soon as you file for bankruptcy, but it doesn’t mean you should take the first one that arrives in your mailbox. These offers usually aren’t very good because they have very high interest rates and annual fees. The credit card companies make these cards available so soon after you file because they want to take advantage of the fact you can't have your debts discharged through bankruptcy again for a while.
But, if you're ready to start rebuilding your credit, you can research credit cards online that offer lower rates for people who have filed bankruptcy. While getting a credit card after bankruptcy may seem counterintuitive, they can actually help you build and restore your credit if used very carefully.
You can start by applying for secured credit cards, meaning you give the bank $500, for example, and they extend a $500 line of credit to you. As you pay your bill on time each month, you will be rebuilding your credit score, which will lead to better interest rates in the future.
To get the most benefits from a secured credit card you should:
- Pick a card that reports your monthly payments to all three credit reporting agencies: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax
- Always make your monthly payments on time
- Keep your balances low and pay off the balance monthly
If you have a serious spending issue that landed you in debt in the first place, you should consider using debit, at least for a while. Debit cards work like cash and prevent you from spending more than you have in the bank.
If you're concerned about rebuilding credit after bankruptcy, or what all you'll be able to do after you file, get your free copy of my Life After Bankruptcy report. I wrote it to help people in your situation understand how bankruptcy might affect, or not affect, different aspects of your life.
In addition, we offer a program to help you increase your credit score to an A rating of 720 in as little as one year - even after a bankruptcy! The course costs $1000, but we offer it to our bankruptcy clients absolutely free.
Castle Law Office has been handling bankruptcies for Kansas City clients from more than 14 years. If you need the fresh start bankruptcy can provide, call us today at 816-842-6200 to speak with an attorney. Or you can email us and schedule your free consultation.