Chapter 13 bankruptcyHow can I rebuild my credit after bankruptcy?
The most important thing you can do to rebuild your credit after a bankruptcy is getting it removed from your credit report. Equally important is learning and changing your personal finance habits so that it doesn’t happen again. This might involve reviewing your income and expenses or bulking up your emergency fund to prevent future financial hardships. The most important ongoing habit you can begin is to pay all of your bills on time because your payment history accounts for the largest portion of your credit score. Even a single 30-day late payment can cause a significant dip, so imagine how bad it could be if you regularly miss a payment.
Your other best bet for rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy is to avoid accruing new debt. Depending on what type of bankruptcy you filed, you probably had much of your debt discharged. Even though the bankruptcy itself is a major negative item on your credit report, consider the rest a blank slate. Avoid racking up additional debt because that also has a significant impact on your credit score. Yes, a bankruptcy isn’t a fun process to go through. But look on the bright side and consider it an opportunity to start fresh with your finances.
Can credit repair help you in South Carolina to achieve financial stability? How can I tell a credit repair scam from a reputable credit counselor?
Answer: There are counselors who can help you with your credit report, and others who take your money but don’t help you. Warning signs for credit repair scams include companies that ask you to pay before providing services. The company may claim that it can guarantee a specific increase in your credit score or get rid of negative credit information in your credit report, even though the information is accurate and current.
Recognizing a credit repair scam
Warning signs for credit repair scams include companies that ask you to pay before providing services. The company may tell you it can guarantee a specific increase in your credit score or get rid of negative credit information in your credit report, even though the information is accurate and current.
If you see ads or receive offers to repair or fix your credit, it could be a warning sign if the company:
Pressures you to pay up-front fees. The company wants you to pay before it provides any services. A simple rule to follow is “Don’t pay upfront.” If the company uses telemarketing such that the federal Telemarketing Sales Rule applies, the credit repair company may not request or receive fees until it gives you a credit report generated more than six months after the promised results that shows the results. Under the federal Credit Repair Organizations Act, credit repair companies can’t request or receive payment until they’ve completed the services they’ve promised. Some companies will structure monthly payment plans to try to avoid this requirement. You should know that all forms of upfront payment before services are completed are illegal.
Promises to remove negative information from your credit report. The company tells you it can get rid of the negative credit information, even if that information is accurate and current. No one can do this.
Requests you dispute accurate information in your credit report. The company advises you to dispute all the information in your credit report, regardless of its accuracy or timeliness.
Refuses or avoids explaining your rights to you. The company doesn’t tell you your rights and what you can do for yourself for free. Disputing errors in your credit reports is a free legal right available to you under the Fair Credit Reporting Act; you don’t need to pay a credit repair organization to do it for you. Also, if you have just signed up for a credit repair service, you have the right to cancel your contract with any credit repair organization for any reason within three business days at no charge to you.
Tells you to not contact credit reporting companies. The company recommends that you don’t contact any of the nationwide credit reporting companies directly.
Credit repair companies are subject to numerous federal laws, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act and often the Telemarketing Sales Rule, both of which forbid credit repair organizations from using deceptive practices and from accepting up-front fees. These laws prohibit many deceptive practices by credit repair organizations. You may have a right to sue a credit repair organization using these laws.
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