Rebuilding Credit After Bankruptcy
New Jersey lawyer provides tips on regaining financial stability
Bankruptcy isn’t just an opportunity to address existing financial problems. It is also the first step toward rebuilding your credit. Once the bulk of your debt is discharged, there are other measures you can take in order to keep the positive momentum going. At the Law Offices of James C. Zimmermann, we have five New Jersey locations serving a diverse group of clients. When someone is struggling with debt, we identify the best solution and guide them through the relevant process. You might be surprised how quickly lenders and credit card companies will give you a chance to establish credit once you have completed your bankruptcy. We are here to help speed that transition.
Steps you can take to help restore your credit score
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing can remain on your credit report for as long as 10 years. If you choose a Chapter 13 repayment plan instead, that might be part of your credit history for seven years after filing. However, financial institutions recognize that discharging your debt or remaining in compliance with a repayment plan can make you a better risk going forward. There is no formula to determine exactly how long a prior bankruptcy will affect your ability to regain financial freedom, but there are several things you can do to improve your situation, such as:
- Keep track of your credit scores — After clearing a major financial hurdle by filing for bankruptcy, the last thing you need is to be penalized by a credit bureau mistake. Keeping track of your Experian, TransUnion and Equifax credit scores can help you identify and correct any harmful errors.
- Take advantage of credit counseling — When you file for bankruptcy, you are required to complete a credit counseling course, which provides basic tips on how to rebuild your credit. Our firm takes this education a step further by looking at your income and expenses to find the best way to get back on your feet. A credit card or loan designed for people who have just emerged from bankruptcy might be helpful.
- Establish a budget and stick to it — During a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a close examination is made of a filer’s financial circumstances. From there, a program is created that allows people to meet their needs while cutting out unnecessary costs. Even after the bankruptcy process is completed, making a realistic budget and sticking to it is a wise idea.
Though a past bankruptcy has a significant effect on one’s credit, its impact will decrease over time. Taking small steps and demonstrating that you are a good risk should accelerate your ability to get the loan or credit card that you want. The businesses that check your credit score want to know if you’ll meet your obligations in the future. Our firm is dedicated to putting you on that path.
Contact an experienced New Jersey bankruptcy lawyer to set up a free consultation
The Law Offices of James C. Zimmermann has five offices in North Jersey to help guide area residents through the bankruptcy process. To schedule a free initial consultation with our firm’s trusted attorney, call 973-764-1633 or contact us online. Our locations are in Vernon, Wayne, Pompton Lakes, Hackensack and Nutley.