You can reestablish your credit after your bankruptcy has been discharged, or after a foreclosure, or a car repossession. The first step in repairing credit is catching up on late bills, settling and removing collection accounts, and opening up new credit and paying on time.
If you’ve filed bankruptcy, chances are your credit cards were included in the petition and closed. The first step in re-establishing your credit is with a credit card. You’ll need to show creditors that you have open credit accounts with a new history of repayments.
- Get a secured credit card. A secured credit card works like a regular (unsecured) credit card except it requires a security deposit. For example, a $500 deposit gives you access to a $500 credit limit. Secured credit cards are offered by many banks and credit unions. Speak with the bank or credit union that you currently have a banking relationship with and ask about their secured credit card offering. Stay clear of secured credit cards that require application fees, annual fees, and monthly service charges.
- Get a secured personal loan. Adding a small personal loan can help improve your score. This creates a mix of credit on your credit file. A secured personal loan requires a security deposit for the amount of the loan and monthly payments for the term of the loan. Banks and credit unions may offer secured personal loans too.