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Life after personal bankruptcy isn't the end of the world

Millions of Floridians are facing a wide range of financial challenges. If you’re struggling to pay your bills, you may have come up with a list of possible solutions to get you and your family out of the mess. But, like most Americans, you might think that filing for bankruptcy is a scary option and a last resort.

It’s true that a personal bankruptcy will have a negative impact on your credit reports for ten years. But what most people might not realize is that it’s possible to begin turning around a negative credit report and start rebuilding your credit almost immediately after Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Credit experts have a few tips that they say can help just about anyone get back on their feet after a bankruptcy, and build a road to a better financial future.

They advise people who have just gone through a bankruptcy to order copies of their credit reports from the three major reporting agencies, and check them for errors. It’s not uncommon for some debts discharged in bankruptcy to be mistakenly listed as active and overdue in a credit report, and this will lower your score.

Once everything is correct, you can start rebuilding your credit with a secured card, and later with one or two small credit cards. Financial experts say the keys to using credit cards wisely are never to spend more than you can afford, to pay your bills on time, and to pay off your balances each month.

Finally, it’s always a good idea to put aside some money with each paycheck into an emergency fund of three to six months’ worth of living expenses. Even after a bankruptcy, you can end up with a healthy financial future by making smart decisions and learning from past mistakes.

Source: MSN Money, “How to rebuild credit after bankruptcy,” Angela Colley, May 31, 2013

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