Once of the biggest mistakes clients make coming out of bankruptcy is that they fail to run a credit report to ensure that all of their information has been updated. My office receives at least one call a month from a former client who has waited several years to pull their report (usually after they have been denied credit) and finds that some creditors have not correctly updated their report.
Credit Report Still Showing Amounts Owed After Bankruptcy
Once you pull your report you should see that all accounts which you listed in your bankruptcy now show $0 balance owed and a reference to being discharged in bankruptcy. Student loans will still show a balance since these are non-dischargeable but everything else should show $0 balance if you included them in your case.
If there are errors on your report you will have send a certified letter to BOTH the creditor and the credit reporting agency demanding the error be corrected. You will also need to include a copy of your bankruptcy petition and your discharge.
If the creditor or credit reporting agency refuses to correct these errors you need to contact your bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of your legal rights.
Should You Get A Credit Card Right After Bankruptcy?
That depends. While of course you are anxious to start rebuilding your credit after your discharge you need to understand that you will receive MANY offers to obtain credit. Most of these offers will have lots of fees and high interest so I would be vey careful about selecting a company right after your discharge.
If you are member of a credit union then speak to your credit union about programs available. Credit unions tend to offer better rates and are more attractive regarding rates.
Lastly, if you found yourself in financial trouble due to overuse of credit cards you may want to wait before jumping back in. I have seen one too many clients come back to see me for credit problems after they had eliminated their debt. Make sure you have a firm grasp of what is needed to succeed with your fresh start.
Can You Get A Car Loan After Filing Bankruptcy?
Yes. This is probably the easiest way most clients reestablish credit after a bankruptcy discharge. Many clients receive solicitations before they are even out of their case! I am seeing many financing cars with rates ranging from 12%-15%.