You have filed bankruptcy to get a fresh start. Now, what do you need to do to rebuild your credit and improve your credit score? Let's take a look at the steps you can take to help rebuild your credit and manage your finances going forward.
The First Step
Before you can begin to rebuild your credit, you need to make sure that your credit report is correct. If you filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy with us, you should have received a new copy of your credit report within one month after you received your discharge. It is important that you review this credit report and make sure that the information on it is correct. Along with the credit report, you should have received instructions as to what you need to do to correct any information that is not correct.
If you have loans, such as a mortgage or car loan, that you are continuing to pay on, you may have to challenge the payment information. A creditor is not required to report payments to the credit reporting agencies so they may choose not to report on-time payments after your bankruptcy. However, any information that is provided must be accurate. If you dispute the payment status on loans that you have been making on-time monthly payments on, the credit reporting agency is required to investigate your claim by contacting the creditor. If the creditor responds, they are required to report correctly. If the creditor does not respond, the credit reporting agency is required to use your information. It is important that you remain current on any mortgage or car loans after your bankruptcy as late or missed payments will only damage your credit report more.
If there are debts that were listed in your bankruptcy that are still showing as having a balance on your credit report, you will need to dispute that debt also. You may have to provide a copy of your bankruptcy petition and discharge to show that the debt was listed, so it is important to save the paperwork that we give you. However, remember that a debit may show up on your credit report but show no balance. This is the way that the debts are normally reported after a bankruptcy.
Under the Fair Debt Collection Law, creditors are required to accurately report your account status. If they do not, it is a violation of the law. If you have a creditor that is reporting inaccurate information on your credit report, I have a colleague that I can refer you to that handles credit report disputes. Please call our office today at 757-276-6555 to get his information.