The time following your bankruptcy is one of the most important periods of your life. The choices you make during and after your bankruptcy affect how successful the bankruptcy will be at helping you make a fresh financial start.
This recovery period can be tough. Even having to file for bankruptcy in the first place can be a scary event and cause you to make bad judgements. If your goal is to get your life back on track after bankruptcy, you need to make a conscious effort to change how you approach financial matters.
What are five of the most important things you can do following bankruptcy?
1. Recognize Your Kryptonite
Everyone knows kryptonite was the one thing that could bring Superman to his knees. And each of us has something that acts as kryptonite in our lives – some people have several things.
Identifying your weakness and understanding how to manage it is one of the most important things you can do to avoid future financial problems. Having a weakness is not the problem – we all have a few – but not knowing how to manage your weakness can be your undoing.
2. Monitor Your Credit
One of the things people often have in common when they file for bankruptcy is their lack of knowledge about their credit score. Some don’t realize how easy it is to monitor, while others want to avoid their credit situation because they don’t feel good about it.
Whatever your reason for avoiding your credit score up until now, you need to begin to monitor it. Not only will you be able to determine if there are mistakes, you’ll be motivated as you see the score improve as you get further from your bankruptcy.
For information about how to monitor your credit, check out this article from CBS News.
3. Have Goals
Putting financial goals in place is one of the smartest and most motivating things you can do as you emerge from bankruptcy. Instead of making your financial goals about spending, make them about saving. At first it might not seem like fun, but as your savings grows and you’re able to handle financial emergencies without going into debt, you’ll be happy you set goals associated with not spending.
4. Pay Your Bills on Time
Seems simple enough, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t bother with it. Even people who are far from bankruptcy let payment dates slip by. Your bill paying habits account for more than a third of your credit score, so make paying on time a priority.
5. Know How to Spot an Unethical Lender
As someone who has filed for bankruptcy, you become a target for dishonest lenders. Know how to spot and avoid predatory lending practices so you don’t end up in financial trouble again.
If a deal seems too good to be true, assume it is. Loans with high interest rates and steep penalties are the last thing you need now that you’ve made it through bankruptcy and you’re headed toward a brighter financial future.
If you’d like more tips for managing and emerging from your bankruptcy, or you are ready to file, we can help. Contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813.254.5696 to schedule a free consultation.