Bankruptcy can be scary for those who file, but it is also a new beginning. While filing bankruptcy puts a dent on one’s credit score, it is possible to bounce back and recover. For most people, the two main areas to focus on are budgeting and increasing credit scores.
If bankruptcy was the result of poor money management, MoneyCrashers offers some tips on creating a new budget, as this is an imperative first step. Determine monthly take-home income based off salary or average income of the previous six to 12 months. Next, figure out all monthly expenses, including necessities and extras. Add everything up and subtract expenses from income.
If it is a negative number, it is time to decide what expenses, such as daily coffee, dining out or clothing, you are willing to give up. Continue to do this until expenses are less than income. The most successful people include savings and retirement contributions in expenses. This allows for some extra padding for unexpected expenditures along the way.
Once one has made a budget, it is important to follow it and not let expenses get out of hand. Review it every week, initially, and then every month to make sure it is on track.
According to Forbes, more than 60% of those who have a bankruptcy were able to increase their credit score to over 640 within two years. One way to achieve this is with a secured credit card, which prevents debt buildup because it requires a deposit. Make monthly charges of 20% or less of available credit, and pay it off in full every month. It is also important to pay rent, mortgage or car payments on time and in full, or else credit scores take a hit.