Congratulations! You’ve successfully served your three year period of bankruptcy and have been discharged, so what now? You’ve undoubtedly taken the most appropriate actions to deal with your financial challenges by filing for bankruptcy, and all your debts are well behind you now. However, there’s still plenty of work involved to get your finances back on track. The greatest issue that discharged bankrupts encounter is their ability to borrow money, and the main reason for this is their bad credit rating.
For the last three years, you’ve had no debts to pay off so your credit history has nothing to show other than a bankruptcy mark against your name. There’s been no movement on your credit report, so a blank page will make lenders hesitant in lending money to you solely because they can’t ascertain your repayment behaviours. Repairing your credit rating is the best way to get your finances back on track, and make your recovery process as seamless as possible.
Ways to repair your credit report after discharge?
Considering that lending institutions haven’t had the ability to assess your financial management skills for the last three years, you will want to begin exhibiting healthy financial habits. Here’s a list of ways in which you can do this
1. Stable employment
Achieving consistent and ongoing employment is an excellent way to increase your financial security and demonstrate to banks and financial institutions that you have a regular stream of income. Reliable employment will enable you to increase your savings and bolster your overall financial circumstances, resulting in a better credit rating.
2. Increase your savings balance
Your savings account is an asset, so increasing your savings balance with time will illustrate to financial institutions that you are financially responsible and are capable of making loan repayments. By transferring money into a dedicated savings account every month, even a small amount, will improve your credit rating.
3. Limit your credit applications
Every time you make an application for a line of credit, it is marked on your credit history, so lots of credit applications can adversely affect your credit rating. After being discharged, it’s extremely important that you are realistic and careful about the types of credit you apply for to increase your chances of approval. It’s best to apply for just one line of credit at once, and keep in mind that secured loans and options with a guarantor or joint accounts will increase the probability of approval.
4. Consider a term deposit
If you’ve had the chance to save money throughout your bankruptcy period, contemplate investing some of it into a term deposit account. Not only will you accumulate interest and boost your overall financial circumstances, it will likewise show lending institutions that you are financially sensible. As a result, the likelihood of acquiring a loan will be increased which leads to an improved credit rating.
5. Always make repayments on time
One of the most important things you can do as a discharged bankrupt is to make any type of repayment on time. Whether or not it’s your rent, electricity, or even a secured loan in your name, making these repayments on time will certainly improve your credit report and increase the confidence that lending institutions have in your financial management capabilities.
6. Don’t hesitate to talk with lenders
If you wish to apply for a line of credit after your bankruptcy period, or identify what types of options are available to you, don’t be afraid to speak with banks or other financial institutions to discuss your circumstances. They are in the best position to advise of your eligibility, and provide guidance on what options would work best for your individual situation.
Beware of credit repair agencies
There are a number of credit repair companies that will make all kinds of promises to improve your credit record. Whilst many of them are useful in challenging any incorrect listings on your credit history, they may not be able to do anything else to improve your credit report. The Government’s MoneySmart website (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) advises discharged bankrupts to be “very careful” of these agencies since they “may not always be able to do what they claim they can”.
If you require any advice in repairing your credit report, or have any questions with respect to your recovery process after bankruptcy, it’s always best to seek advice from qualified professionals. Speak with Bankruptcy Experts on 1300 795 575, or alternatively you can visit our website for more information: www.bankruptcyexperts.com.au