If you are considering bankruptcy, or if you have a recent bankruptcy, you may be wondering how it is going to affect your credit and financial future. It is true that bankruptcy puts a dent in your credit score, but it does not last forever.
The advantage that filing bankruptcy gives you is that you have a clean slate and get a chance to start over. If you do things right, your credit score will begin to rise, and you can experience greater financial freedom.
For many people, bankruptcy occurs due to careless spending and debt build up. If this is the case, CNBC Select discusses how to create a budget to keep spending under control. The first thing to do is add up your monthly net income, which is what you make after taxes. Next, add up all of your regular monthly expenses. Note which ones are necessary, such as rent, groceries, transportation and utilities, and which ones are optional, such as movies and gym memberships. Subtract your expenses from your income.
If it turns out your expenses are more than your income, you need to make changes. This may be getting a part-time job to cover expenses or cutting out some of the miscellaneous expenses. Even if bankruptcy occurred due to an unexpected medical bill or a job loss, having a budget can help you create an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses.
Ways to increase your credit score
According to U.S. News and World Report, obtaining a secured credit card is a good and safe way to begin building back credit. It counts towards your credit just like a normal credit card, but you cannot spend more than the money you deposited.
You also build credit by paying all your bills in full and on time. This includes your utility bills, car loan and rent. You should refrain from applying for loans during the initial months or even years of filing. Not only does this help your credit, but it also prevents you from getting over your head financially again.