Credit Card Debt: Repair After Bankruptcy

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Ah, credit card debt. You've asked yourself the question many times, "Will I ever get credit again?" The answer, although seemingly complex, is quite simple: Yes. You can have another chance at re-establishing your credit. Filing bankruptcy is the first intelligent step taken to wiping out accrued credit card debt. The next step you'll have to take is to repair your credit report. In order to do this, you'll need to develop great patience while you're re-establishing your credit, as these things do take time.

Two or three years after you've eliminated credit card debt by filing bankruptcy, you'll want to start rebuilding good credit. How, you ask? Apply for secured credit cards. Preferably cards without annual fees attached to them. Do your research on the internet to see what others have done in similar situations. If you come across an offer which looks to good to be true, it most likely is. Use discretion when giving out Social Security numbers and personal information online.

Start small. Don't expect anyone to hand you a $10,000 credit limit overnight. You've had a history of credit card debt, it's not going to happen. Make lenders trust you again. Make monthly payments in the full amount. Your payment transactions will determine how successful your new credit report will be. If you're late with payments you're heading in the wrong direction. You don't want to end up on the road to credit card debt or bankruptcy again, do you? Of course not.

The stronger your current financial condition is, the better candidate you may be for future credit. Convince lenders that you've left the past behind you. You've changed your ways. Show them how you've handled money since the bankruptcy. Prompt payments made in a full amount are very impressive to a credit lender. If you're denied a major credit card, don't get distraught. Try applying for a department store's line of credit or a card issued by an oil company. These are some small steps to a successful debt-free future.

It's also important to keep an eye on your credit report. Make sure that everything is accurate and appears is it is supposed to. Errors, which can go unacknowledged will only harm you in the future. Your local bank can give you a copy of your current credit report for a nominal fee. However, if you're a legal resident of the United States, you are eligible to receive free credit reports. Specifically, one credit report per year.

In 2005, the Federal Trade Commission announced that every United States citizen is eligible to receive one free credit report on an annual basis, regardless of where they live. This was wonderful news to Americans everywhere. To receive your free credit report, you must supply proof of your identity. Questions you may be asked will include: your name, address, social security number, and a personal question [for security purposes] that only you will know.

Nevertheless, be very careful. There's a wide number of companies who will promise free credit reports. But are they legitimate? Anyone can build a website and claim that they're a credit agency. Why risk giving out your personal information to a stranger? Identity theft has become increasingly popular. Don't fall prey to a fraudulent credit agency that you know absolutely nothing about. Do some background research on the company prior to using their services. If you can't find any information relating to their services they're probably not very trust-worthy.

Credit reports can be received online or through physical mail. Be certain that the company which is offering free credit reports is being employed by the FTC. Bear in mind, anyone can say they're affiliated with the FTC. Make sure that they're legitimate. Such a fiasco occurred recently on the internet. Thousands of people were taken advantage of when they filled out a form for a "free credit report." Don't give out your information to anyone but a trusted bank, a reputable mortgage broker, or an agency employed through the Federal Trade Commission.
About the Author

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