The recent recession has left many Oklahomans facing mountains of debt and unable to keep up with their payments. Some have considered seeking relief from harrowing creditors by filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but worry about bankruptcy leaving a black mark on their credit report and are unsure if they will ever be able to get credit again after filing.
Credit After Bankruptcy Explained
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for ten years after filing. Despite this, you are more likely to be eligible for credit after filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy than before. This is because the discharge of debt that you receive under Chapter 7 immediately improves your debt-to-income ratio, a factor that future lenders take heavily into consideration. Lenders are also aware that after filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will not be able to file for bankruptcy again for another eight years, which makes you far less of a credit risk in the long run.
The good news is that after filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may find yourself receiving many credit applications in your mailbox. The downside is that these credit offers will carry high (and sometimes extremely high) interest rates. That being said, you have to start somewhere and if you use this credit as a tool for rebuilding your credit, rather than as everyday financial resources, you will be able to repair your credit after bankruptcy.
One of the best ways to rebuild your credit after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to establish a new line of credit with a credit union. Credit unions will typically give you much better interest rates and many of them have special programs to help individuals rebuild their credit. Furthermore, future lenders tend to look upon this type of credit more favorably, so your credit score may improve faster.
Credit unions can also offer you secured credit cards, which are credit cards that are secured by money you have deposited in an account with the credit union. For example, if you deposit $500, you will be given a $1000 credit limit to be drawn upon as long as your loan balance is less than your deposit. If you pay your bills on time, you may become eligible for an unsecured credit card with a higher credit limit and even lower interest rates within a year or two. Traditional banks offer secured credit cards as well, but usually with much higher interest rates, so obtaining a secured credit card through a credit union is highly preferable.
No matter how you decide to reestablish your credit, it is important to start immediately after bankruptcy and to make your payments on time. Rebuilding your credit after filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will take time and patience, but if you can show lenders that you have established new payment habits, you can become eligible for traditional auto and home loans again.
Free Consultation: Claremore Bankruptcy Attorney
Contact a Claremore bankruptcy lawyer for a free initial consultation about your specific situation by simply calling our office at (918) 213-0950. Or, you can enter your legal question or concern at the top right corner of this page, and one of our attorneys will promptly email or call you.