Good credit does not “fall from the sky”. You need to earn it. With some effort, most people who have filed bankruptcy are able to get a new loan within one year after their bankruptcy, and they can expect a somewhat normal credit rating in 3 years or so.
If you had problems with credit card debt in the past, you will want to first of all set up a debit card and use that as your primary method of payment. However, you can set up a little credit card after your bankruptcy is over, to help rebuild your credit. Use the credit card for small charges, like gas purchases. Fill up the tank of your vehicle, put it on the card, and pay the entire balance off on time or early, and that will really help you rebuild credit. You can slowly start to put other small purchases on the card, maybe if you go out to dinner you could put that on there, but use your debit card for most transactions so you do not have to rely so heavily on credit. You do not want a high balance on a credit card after bankruptcy, because whatever card you get approved for will likely have much higher interest rates and worse terms than one you had before your bankruptcy. Make sure you are paying off the credit card in full every month, on time or early, to prevent carrying a balance and getting charged with high interest.
If you are turned down for a regular credit card after bankruptcy (this is common), you may have to get a secured credit card. A secured credit card requires you to attach a savings account as security for the card. Secured credit card’s payment history is not always reported to the credit bureaus. You want to make sure that it is, otherwise it will not be helping you rebuild your credit. So make sure you contact the creditor and ask them if the card’s history will be reported to the credit bureaus. Also make sure you read the offers and pay close attention to the fees these cards charge.
Another great tip is to open a savings account, save $1,000 or so, and then take out a $1,000 bank loan using the $1,000 in your savings account as collateral. Do not touch the $1,000 in your savings account, and pay back the $1,000 loan using new funds. It will give you practice paying off a loan, and you will be generating a positive credit history of on time payments.
Pay all of your utility bills and other bills on time or early. Also try to save at least 15% of your paycheck. Do not use any payday loans, or any of those Cash-Now places. Their high-interest rates make them a unreasonable. The most important thing to remember is to show a good history of making payments, and to be making those payments on time or early. You do this, and your credit score will go up.