Recently declared bankruptcy? Want to rebuild your credit? If so, it is essential that you monitor your credit report on a regular basis to ensure that all of the details remain correct. Even if you never intend on buying your own home or a brand new car, having a poor credit score will impact your life in so many other ways. Not only will a bad credit score cost you more for car insurance, or your monthly cell phone plan, but it can also cost you a great job. That alone makes it worth the time and effort it may take to clean up your credit report.
Granted, it’s easy to become so busy that you forget your credit, especially since it’s generally lowest right after you file bankruptcy, but that’s when you should be watching your score the closest! And, when you find an inaccuracy, it’s the best time to fix it! Otherwise, this incorrect information could very likely prevent you from rebuilding your credit and cost you even more MONEY.
Generally, the two years following a bankruptcy are actually the best times to begin to re-establish your credit.
Here are the correct steps to take.
- Review your credit report thoroughly and regularly. To do this DO NOT use an online company like Equifax in order to view your credit report. Why? You might lose certain rights in order to comply with that company’s own rules (each company is different). Instead, write to annualcreditreport.com and use the MAIL IN form to request your credit report.
Note: you MUST ask for your report in writing. Sure, it may seem archaic, but it’s the only really good way to get all of your credit information and not be taken advantage of by the credit reporting agencies.
- Once you have your report, take a good look at it. Since you have declared bankruptcy, all debts that can be cleared should be cleared. Next to any cleared debts the note ‘zero balance discharged in bankruptcy’ should appear. If there is anything else written — anything at all! — make sure to correct that detail. The above statement is the only one that should appear.
If there is any wrong information on your credit report, write directly to the credit agency that has reported the wrong information. One again, it is very important that you do not take the easy road on this and email or call the credit reporting agency, this dispute must be submitted in writing. You cannot submit this information online or through an email because you may not be able to prove your case if they fail or refuse to remove the negative information. Why am I telling you to take the hard way? Evidence, that’s why. When I sue the credit reporting agencies, I need evidence. Without evidence, you do not have a case.
A Long Process
Again, it’s a lot simpler to ask for a credit report online and to submit things online, but this is not what we recommend. Even though it takes a while to submit information or ask for a credit report in writing, this is the absolute best way to go about this process. It’s important that you consider what you might be giving up when you gain information through any kind of private company, so keep this in mind when tempted to ask for credit rating details electronically.
A Qualified Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help
It might not seem like there’s a lot involved in declaring bankruptcy, but a good legal team can do a lot more than plead your case. When you select a bankruptcy lawyer, it’s important that the lawyer you choose helps you decide whether or not bankruptcy is actually the right course for you. In some cases bankruptcy is ideal, but in other cases it’s not the best solution.