How To Improve Your Credit Post-Bankruptcy

Post-Bankruptcy Credit Improvement Tips

You’ve filed bankruptcy and your credit is likely as low as it’s ever been. boostingcreditscoreBut it doesn’t have to stay that way. The moment you declare bankruptcy, there are actions you can take to immediately start rebuilding your credit.

Here’s how to start improving your credit score right after a bankruptcy event.

==> Do a Careful Credit Report Check

Look over your credit report. Then look over it again. Carefully check that each and every account is being reported properly.

Old debts that were wiped out should indicate a “BK” status. Debts that aren’t reported properly can continue to damage your credit score, so make sure that any cleared debts are indeed being reported properly.

==> Pay Your Mortgage On Time

If you managed to keep your house in the bankruptcy process, make sure you do everything in your power to pay your mortgage on time.

Your mortgage has a bigger impact on your credit than anything else. If you can manage to keep it current, that’ll really help your credit score. If you go delinquent on your mortgage, the rest of the techniques in this article won’t help all that much.

==> Get a Secured Credit Card

Get a secured credit card to start building up your post-bankruptcy creditworthiness.

A secured credit card entails you putting down a small deposit, usually between $300 and $1,000, to open a cash-backed account.

Your money will be held as collateral. You can then use your card as a credit card. Pay it off every month, on time, to start rebuilding your credit.

Make sure that your card is being reported to all three credit reporting agencies.

==> Cutting Your Spending

Having to file bankruptcy means that at some point in your life, you spent more money than you really had. In order to prevent that from happening again, you need to make sure that you’re regularly making more money than you’re spending.

Any additional cash you earn can be used to improve your financial situation. It can be used on improving credit, paying off debts that weren’t wiped out during bankruptcy, or building savings.

Start by cutting back on auxiliary spending. Move into a smaller house or apartment if you can. Try to save 10% to 20% of your income every month.

==> Make a Small Installment Purchase

An installment purchase is treated differently on your credit report than revolving credit (e.g. credit cards). They’re treated with more weight.

An installment purchase includes car loans, home mortgages or even furniture purchases that are paid off in installment form.

Make sure that any installment purchase you make is reported to all three credit reporting agencies. Getting an installment loan and paying it off on time regularly can do a lot for rebuilding your credit.

If you apply these techniques, your after-bankruptcy credit can improve to the point where you can open new unsecured accounts within 2 or 3 years.

How to Get Debt Collectors to Stop Harassing You

stopthecallsHow to Get Debt Collectors to Stop Harassing You

Are those annoying debt collection calls getting to you? If a company believes you owe them a debt, they do legally have the right to contact you to retrieve that debt. However, in just 30 minutes of work, you can get them to never contact you again.

Here’s how to get debt collectors of all non-business debt to stop harassing you.

==> Before Getting Started

Before you request them to stop contacting you, it may be a good idea to actually talk to the collectors just once.

That way, you can get a good idea for what’s going on. The debt could be a lot less than you expected. Or you might be able to negotiate a much better deal than you’d expect.

Often paying a fraction of your debt may be better for you and your credit than if you just defaulted on the debt.

That said, if you do choose to ignore your creditors, here’s how to get them to stop contacting you.

==> Cite the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act

The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) is the act that prevents debt collectors from acting out of line. It’s also your main leverage when it comes to getting debt collectors off your back.

If you want debt collectors to stop contacting you, all you need to do is send them a letter citing the FDCPA. Ask them to cease all contact with you as required by law.

Make sure you send the letter with a return receipt, so you know when they’ve received the letter.

Once they’ve received this letter, they cannot try to contact you to collect a debt any longer. The only two reasons they can contact you for are to either let you know that they’ve added you to their “do not contact” list or to inform you of further action, such as a lawsuit.

There are many different templates you can find online for cease contact request letters. It’s very easy to just print one of these out, replace the address and mail it.

==> What Happens If They Still Contact You?

If they continue to contact you after you’ve sent them the letter, you’re eligible for a lawsuit.

You can get paid $1,000 plus legal fees if a debt collector still continues to contact you after you’ve requested them to stop. You don’t have to prove damages.

Using this simple method, you can get a creditor off your back in as little as 30 minutes. All you need to do is buy an envelope and stamps, print out the letter and put on their address. After that, you should either have no more contact or be eligible for a lawsuit if they keep pestering you.

The Value Of Attitude Money During Hard Times

There is probably no one out there that has not  experienced hard times, due to the economic changes in the past 2 years.

The experience may have been personal or observing how it has affected a loved one or friend. I can be hard to keep your spirits up and stay motivated to achieve all those dreams you have during hard times. During hard economic times you must keep your head up, shift, adapt, and keep believing in yourself.

Take a step back, regroup and approach everything one step at a time.

Downsizing and layoffs are scary, but hard times affect all social classes. It may take months, or even years, before you see an improvement in the economy. Economic changes may be completely out of your control, but even small changes in your lifestyle can make a big difference in how you cope with day to day life during hard times.

The key is to manage your money wisely and create what I call attitude money.

In addition to saving for unexpected crisis you need to also create a separate saving account to cover the little unexpected things you need and make you feel better. An account that allows you to relax because you know it is there in the event something comes up that will not change your life, but may give you a headache in trying to deal with it. This security improves your attitude, hence the name attitude money.

You must cut back on spending; however, do not forget to reward yourself for all the effort you put in to make things better for your boss, children, and others that you love.

Just make sure you set aside for savings and think up of new ways in which you can enjoy your hard-earned cash and still have enough for those rainy days. Give yourself time to establish your career. The older you are, the more devastated you can be when you get hit by the crisis, and that is because you have put more effort into getting where you currently are in life.

If you’re living on your own, maybe it’s time to get a roommate. You can always ask a friend, but make sure you both respect each others privacy, and are willing to equally square in the expenses.

When it comes to anything in your life, it is always good to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Should the walls come tumbling down your preparation will keep your life from becoming devastated.

Today, start building a  financial cushion by putting away a certain amount of your monthly income in a secure place. Create another account for your attitude money and use it wisely.

While the economy is performing poorly, start doing more to optimize your value to the company you work for. If down sizing does occur at least you will have done what is necessary to potentially keep your job by demonstrating that you have value to those you work for.