Discharging your debt through bankruptcy gives you an opportunity to start over financially. Even though the bankruptcy remains on your credit report for seven to 10 years, you do not need to wait that long to start rebuilding your credit.

Your credit score reflects many different factors, one of the most important of which is your payment history. You can take steps now to improve this, and you should start seeing a better credit score more quickly than you expect.

1. Pay bills on time

Bankruptcy discharge relieves your burden of debt and makes it easier to make payments on time for recurring bills such as mortgages and utilities. Payment history accounts for 35% of your overall score, so this is a simple way to start rebuilding your credit.

2. Have payments reported to credit bureaus

Make sure the credit bureaus find out about your record of on-time payments. Check with your utility providers, mortgage lenders and anyone to whom you make monthly payments and see if they will report them to the credit bureaus.

3. Opening a secured credit card

A new credit card can help you improve your score if you maintain control of your spending and pay off the balance every month. A secured credit card may help you maintain the necessary discipline while representing a lower risk for the card issuer because you back it up with a bank account. This means that your card issuer can take money out of your account to cover the balance if you fail to pay your bill on time.