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Getting Past a Bankruptcy

Aug 17, 2007
For many people, filing for bankruptcy is one of the most painful emotionally things they will have to do in their lives. It may mean the worst of your bills will go away, but it also means that you will have trouble getting credit for years. It may mean losing your home or your car. It's not pleasant even when it's the only way out.

But once it's done and over with it is time to start trying to get past that and rebuild your life and credit. You will just have to find banks that can work with you.

In many cases this means getting a secured credit card or an unsecured one that doesn't do a credit check. Whichever you get, make sure that you make your payments on time and regularly. It will take a couple years of this to prove that you are again credit-worthy, and you will probably be paying higher interest rates and/or fees for these cards, but over time you will come to the point where you can get regular credit cards again.

But more important is the impact a bankruptcy can have on your personal relationships. It's a major strain on them. Your money troubles do not vanish with the filing of bankruptcy. The things you have to give up as a result, the changes you need to make, the emotional lows of going through a bankruptcy are extremely hard on relationships.

Getting past these is in many ways harder. You may have to seek counseling. You will certainly need to talk about changing any shared habits that contributed to the bankruptcy. And you will need all possible emotional support.

If you have to hunt for work, a bankruptcy can make it harder to find a job, as many employers check credit histories. There is a feeling that people who are not responsible with their credit may not be as good of employees. Even if the bankruptcy was due to factors beyond your control, such as medical bills, this is something you may have to face.

Make a plan to improve your spending habits, especially any that were major contributing factors to the bankruptcy. Learn to live without buying so much stuff. Eat out less often. Find cheaper forms of entertainment.

It will take two years or more of work to start proving yourself on your credit history, and it will be years before the bankruptcy comes off your record. The more serious you are about showing that you have learned your lesson and that you can now be trusted, the sooner you can rebuild your credit.
About the Author
Learn more about coping with bankruptcy on Stephanie Foster's website. She blogs on various other credit related topics at http://credit-blog.findcreditonline.com/ .
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