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How can I improve my credit score?

While it can help you get a handle on debt, filing for bankruptcy does have a negative impact on your credit score. While bankruptcy will stay in your credit history for a number of years, there are steps you can begin taking right away that will boost your credit score and prevent you from making financial missteps in the future. Nerdwallet offers the following tips to help you get back on track. 

The first step is to check your credit score. Chances are your credit score was poor before filing for bankruptcy, as late and missed payments also have an impact on your credit history. You also want to look for any inaccurate records that might be dragging your score down further. If you notice anything out of place, contact the credit bureau responsible for issuing the report. They can help you remove erroneous items.

You’ll also need to accept that you’ll be considered high-risk to many lenders at this point. That doesn’t mean you can’t secure loans and credit, which are important aspects of a healthy financial history when used correctly. For instance, secured loans and credit cards usually entail some of kind of deposit or put limitations on how you can access money. You can also have a trusted friend or family member co-sign on your loan, which provides assurance to the lender. Remember, fiscal responsibility is a must for any loan or credit card. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting mired in debt again. 

Lastly, take a look at your current spending habits. Creating a budget is key in this case, as it will prevent you from spending money frivolously on things you don’t need. Building an emergency savings fund is another crucial step. Many people fall into debt after being subject to an unexpected expense, such as medical costs or repair to a home or vehicle. Even having a minimal amount of savings is better than none at all. 

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