#1 – Get a credit card. Yes, we know that credit card debt is one of the things that landed you in bankruptcy; but good credit is important in our society. You will need credit cards in your post-bankruptcy life; but you will need to handle them differently. First, start off with a secured credit card with a small balance of about $300. Try to avoid the credit cards with yearly fees and get more than one or two credit cards.

#2 – Don’t skip any payments. This may seem like common sense; but many people make this mistake post-bankruptcy. Being late or “skipping” payments because something came up or there was an emergency is just going to land you back in bankruptcy or facing a creditor lawsuit. It’s important to make timely and regular payments on your credit cards because this is what’s going to increase your post-bankruptcy credit score.

#3 – Avoid magical thinking. Just like there are no “get rich quick” schemes that really work, there are no “credit repair” schemes that really work. If you want to improve your credit score after bankruptcy, you will need to do so by paying your bills on time and over a period of time to prove your creditworthiness.

#4 – Think small. Avoid accumulating large credit card balances that may be difficult to repay. Also, don’t go out and buy a home or car that has a note so large it will make you cringe just to pay it. Take it slow and keep your credit balances on par with your real income.

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