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Life after Bankruptcy: Surviving without Credit Cards

Bankruptcy can be a great tool to use to help you get back on your feet financially. However, in the months and years after bankruptcy, you will need to find new ways of dealing with certain financial situations, especially those that typically require the use of a credit card.

Travel is often one of the most problematic events for a person who has no credit card. What situations can cause problems and how can you deal with them when traveling?

Booking a Hotel Room

Hotels often require a credit card, even if you pay for the hotel room in advance. They usually request credit card information at check-in to cover incidental charges and protect themselves against damage to the room. Most hotels are happy to accept debit cards instead of credit cards and some charge nothing at all unless you authorize charges. Read more tips for booking a hotel room without a credit card in this USA Today article.

Renting a Car

Car rental agencies almost always require a credit card for rentals, but a few base the need for a credit card on a renter’s age. There are certain rental companies that allow you to use a debit card instead of a credit card, so this might be an option. Your debit card is linked to your checking account and the rental agency will put a hold on funds while you are renting, so make sure your account has enough money to cover the deposit required.

Buying an Airline Ticket

You can pay for an airline ticket with a debit card or a credit card. Some airlines still accept cash, but there are certain restrictions, so contact them well in advance of your travel dates to see if this is possible. Remember, when you check in, you will need to show ID and you might need to scan a credit or debit card for identification, but it will not be charged. Airlines do allow a third party to pay for your ticket, as long as your identification is provided when you check in.

Some companies are flexible when it comes to payment if you explain your situation. You don’t need to go into the details about your financial struggles; simply tell them you’ve chosen not to use a credit card and ask how you can still purchase a product or service. It won’t always work, but in-full cash payments are often enough to get you what you need.

Applying for Credit Post Bankruptcy

There are ways to get a credit card once you have filed for bankruptcy. Many secured credit cards are not only great for renting and booking items and services, they also help you rebuild your credit. Secured cards are similar to debit cards in that you need funds to back up any charges you make to the card.

Filing for bankruptcy has consequences, but for many, it is the smartest financial decision they ever make. If you are considering bankruptcy or you have questions about your life after you have filed, contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813.254.5696 to schedule your consultation.

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At the Tampa Bay law firm, the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A., we help people with consumer bankruptcy matters in the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg,  Florida communities such as Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Thonotosassa, Riverview, Lutz, Plant City, Brandon, Carrollwood, Wesley Chapel, St. Petersburg Beach, Lakeland, Mulberry, Dade City, Pinellas Park, Largo, Seminole, Odessa, Oldsmar and Lithia, and counties such as Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Polk County and Manatee County.