Filing bankruptcy can be scary, but it also gives a person the opportunity to start over. Following the discharge of a bankruptcy, there are some consequences, such as a low credit score and an inability to apply for many loans. However, by following certain steps, the recovery period does not have to be long and the person can begin the path to a better financial life.
According to U.S. News, getting a secured credit card is a good way to start rebuilding credit. The credit available also equals the amount of money you added to the balance, so it prevents spending money that is not there.
The best advice is to not borrow money after bankruptcy. However, if it is necessary, such as to buy a car, shop around to find a lower interest rate, as post-bankruptcy rates are typically very high. Also make sure to pay the loan payments back on time and in full to prevent another hit to the credit score.
Another important step is to make a new budget. For some people, bankruptcy occurred in the first place because of a lack of budgeting, and some may not be sure how to make one. The Federal Trade Commission outlines steps to create a realistic budget.
The first thing to do is make a list of all monthly bills and additional expenses. Add everything up and subtract it from the monthly income. If the number is negative, this means there is more money going out than coming in. Sit down and decide which expenses are not necessary and delete enough of them so the expenses are less than income.
It is also important to include savings in the expenses column. This helps cover unexpected costs that occur. Revisit this budget every month and make adjustments as necessary.