Bankruptcy Attorneys in South Jersey
Reestablishing Your Credit after a Bankruptcy Filing
If you are struggling to pay your bills and don’t expect your financial situation to change anytime soon, you may be considering a bankruptcy filing as a way to put an end to creditor harassment. If you have not taken steps toward the new start that bankruptcy offers for fear that your credit rating will be irreparably harmed, think again. There is life after bankruptcy, and you can rebuild a credit score that will allow you to have credit cards or purchase a car or home on credit. The lawyers at Neuner & Ventura, LLP, can help you take back control of your life.
At Neuner & Ventura, LLP, we have over 30 years of practice experience. Attorney Steven R. Neuner is certified as a bankruptcy lawyer by the American Board of Certification and has been a U.S. bankruptcy trustee since 1993. He has been honored as a New Jersey Super Lawyer and has been rated a 10.0, or “superb,” by Avvo. We know that every situation is different and will take the time to listen to the details of your case so that we can help you implement strategies that meet your specific needs.
Understanding the Factors that Affect Your Credit Score
Your credit score is calculated based on five principal factors:
- Your payment history — While all payment history is considered, your recent payment history will generally have more of an impact. If you consistently pay your obligations in a timely manner, your credit score will continue to rise.
- The ratio of your actual debt to how much you are eligible for — As you move closer to being “maxed out,” your creditworthiness will go down.
- The length of your credit history — The longer you can show that you have used credit responsibly, the higher your score will be. Accordingly, it is important to keep some credit running all the time so that you have a continual record of paying debts in a timely manner.
- The amount of new debt you have or have sought — Your score will generally go down if you either apply for or secure a lot of new credit accounts.
- The different types of credit you have — It is beneficial to have different types of debts, such as mortgages, credit cards and auto loans.
Things You Can Do after a Bankruptcy to Improve Your Credit Score
Though a bankruptcy filing will likely have an immediate impact on your ability to obtain credit, there are steps you can take immediately to start rebuilding your credit:
- Establish a budget and stick to it — Eliminate unnecessary spending and pay all obligations as soon as possible.
- Start rebuilding your credit history — If you have existing debts, commit to paying them in a timely manner. If you have none, you may want to consider getting a secured credit card so that you can start to establish a record of paying your bills on time.
- Use your credit card, but set aside the cash to pay for it when you use it — Use the credit card as a substitute for money, not for the lack of money. Only use your credit card when you actually have the funds to pay for an item.
- Verify that your credit report is accurate — Credit reporting agencies often receive inaccurate information or make mistakes. Obtain a copy of your credit report (New Jersey residents can get a free copy once a year at www.annualcreditreport.com) and contact the agency to make certain mistakes are corrected.
- If you have filed bankruptcy or settled some of your debts, check your credit report to make sure these changes are accurately shown. Discharged debts should show a zero balance, although a history of previous defaults may not be removed. If not, write to each of the three credit reporting agencies with a copy of your discharge and your schedules of bankruptcy debts, asking that your report be corrected.
Equifax, P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta
Experian, P.O. Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013-2104
TransUnion, P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022-2000
Visit our bankruptcy and credit resources page
See more informational sites and resources
Here is our budget form (Microsoft Excel required)
Here is another form for use with our bankruptcy questionnaire
Let us help you get your financial life under control. Call Neuner & Ventura at (856) 596-2828 or send us an e-mail to schedule an appointment. There is no charge for your first consultation. However, we reserve the right to charge a fee to review any work done by another attorney. Evening and weekend appointments can be scheduled upon request.
*Free consultation for individuals and most small businesses. A follow up meeting may be required. We reserve the right to charge for consultations involving review of existing cases, divorces or litigation.