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How to rebuild credit after a bankruptcy filing

Some Wisconsin residents are reluctant to file for bankruptcy protection because they are afraid that it will permanently affect their credit scores. However, by taking the right steps, it’s possible to rebuild credit after filing for bankruptcy.  

Earlier this month, a USA TODAY article provided some great tips for doing this, according to a spokesperson for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. The first step, the spokesperson said, is to get back on track financially, which means paying off debts and sticking to a budget. 

It also means obtaining a free credit report (perhaps from AnnualCreditReport.com) and checking for inaccuracies. Finally, it's important to get familiar with how credit reporting works so that you can keep a close eye on your credit score in the coming years.

Once you are ready to start building credit again, the spokesperson said to look for the best offers for your situation. A small personal loan from a credit union can help you build your credit score, though it might require a co-signer.

Another option is to find a credit card for your situation, the spokesperson suggested. Bankrate.com provides information on different banks that offer credit cards to people without good credit. Until you have built up your credit, a secured card may be the best bet.

Once you have made consistent payments on your credit accounts over a period of time, you will notice that your credit score has improved. It won’t be long before you are able to qualify for an unsecured credit card, an auto loan or a mortgage.

Of course, it’s still extremely important to exercise caution when it comes to credit accounts as there is a limit on the number of times a person can file for bankruptcy, and we all know how easy debt can spiral out of control. 

Source: USA TODAY, “Personal Finance: Re-establish credit after bankruptcy,” Robert Powell, July 3, 2014

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