Now that your bankruptcy period has ended in Ohio, you likely want to reestablish your credit as quickly as possible. How you go about doing this, however, can make all the difference.
Here, per Credit.com, are the five steps — in order — that you should take.
1. Retain your paperwork
Do not discard your bankruptcy paperwork. Make sure you particularly save your bankruptcy petition, filing notice and discharge order somewhere safe since you may well need them in the future. You may wish to scan them into your computer so you have electronic copies.
2. Make a budget
No one enjoys budgeting, but now that bankruptcy has discharged most of your debts, you want to stay on top of your bills. You therefore need to know exactly how much money you have coming in each month and how much of it you need to use for paying your various bills. Be sure to include the monthly amount of the bills you pay bimonthly, semiannually or annually.
3. Start a savings account
If you have never before had a savings account, open one now and put money into it each and every month without fail. This will give you a safety cushion in the event you encounter a financial emergency.
4. Obtain your credit reports
Get your free copies of your three main credit reports about three months after the end of your bankruptcy. Go through them line by line to ensure that none of your discharged debts show up or that any of your creditors assigned your account to a collection agency. If you discover anything amiss, notify the credit report agency immediately.
5. Get a credit card
Once you know exactly where you stand in terms of your income and how you need to disburse it, apply for a credit card. Unfortunately, your bankruptcy likely will make you ineligible for any card other than a prepaid one or one with a limited credit limit and/or higher than normal interest rate. Nevertheless, getting one of these less than ideal cards, making a few small purchases with it each month and then fully paying it off on or before your due date can reestablish your credit more quickly than anything else. Then you can apply for a better credit card.
Remember, your bankruptcy represents the beginning of your new financially responsible life. Use what you learned to ensure that you will never again be in a situation where you have too much debt and not enough money to pay it.
This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.