Florida residents who have completed bankruptcy proceedings may wonder if the hard part is just ahead, namely rebuilding their credit score. To many people, bankruptcy feels like a scarlet letter, a sign of massive financial failure that is hard to ever recover from. However, according to Forbes, there are ways to rebuild a credit score following bankruptcy and to restore one’s financial reputation.
First, credit reports should be carefully checked for errors. Mistakes on your record, if not challenged, will be taken as fact by any financial entity that reads them, which can be especially harmful if your expenses are inflated, harming your credit score. The Forbes piece recommends you scan your record yourself or enlist the help of credit counselors to help. However, be on alert for scammers who claim they can bounce your credit score. Be sure that your rights are fully explained to you before you commit to a counseling service.
Credit scores can also be damaged by delinquent payments. Payments that are missed will go on a person’s credit report and may stay there for up to seven years. To avoid this, people should make every minimum required payment. Setting up automatic payments with a bank account can prevent tardy payments, but for people living on a low budget, this may not be an option. Instead, lower income individuals will have to stagger payments strategically to avoid overdrawing their accounts.
If you do possess bills that are outstanding, it is wise to go ahead and pay them as soon as you can. It is better to pay off a bill now than to let it sit, as payments that are one or two months late generally do not affect your credit score as much as payments that are three or more months delinquent. Even with these late payments on your credit report, once you have paid them off, your future payments will contribute positively to your score and reduce the harm of the late payments.
In the event you have problems signing up for credit cards, according to a piece on the Reader’s Digest website, sometimes a loved one can help you out by adding you as an authorized user on their own credit card. If that person is fiscally responsible and pays credit card bills on time, that person’s good financial conduct will increase your credit as well. You do not even have to use the credit card yourself. As long as the other person makes the proper payments, you can benefit.