Congratulations! You’ve successfully served your 3 year period of bankruptcy and have been discharged, so now what? You’ve undoubtedly taken the appropriate steps to address your financial troubles by declaring bankruptcy, and all your debts are well behind you now. Having said this, there’s still a lot of work required to get your finances back on the right track. The greatest issue that discharged bankrupts experience is their capability 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 repay so your credit history has nothing to show with the exception of a bankruptcy mark against your name. There’s been no activity on your credit report, so an empty page will make banks and lenders hesitant in lending money to you solely because they can’t inspect your repayment habits. Rebuilding your credit rating is the best way to get your finances back in order, and make your recovery process as seamless as possible.
How to repair your credit report after discharge?
Due to the fact that lenders haven’t had the ability to assess your financial management skills for the last 3 years, you have to start displaying healthy financial habits. Here’s a list of ways in which you can do this
- Reliable employment
Attaining reliable and ongoing employment is a terrific way to improve your financial security and show banks and financial institutions that you have a regular income stream. Regular employment will allow you to increase your savings and enhance your overall financial situation, resulting in a better credit rating.
- Increase your savings balance
Your savings account is an asset, so increasing your savings balance gradually will show financial institutions that you are financially responsible and are capable of making loan repayments. By putting money into a specialised savings account every month, even a small amount, will improve your credit rating.
- Limit your credit applications
Every time you make an application for a line of credit, it is registered on your credit history, so lots of credit applications can adversely impact your credit history. After being discharged, it’s imperative that you are sensible and vigilant about the types of credit you apply for to increase your chances of approval. It’s best to make an application for only one line of credit at once, and remember that secured loans and options with a guarantor or joint accounts will increase the chances of approval.
- Consider a term deposit
If you’ve had the chance to save money during your bankruptcy period, think about putting part of it into a term deposit account. Not only will you accrue interest and improve your overall financial situation, it will likewise show financial institutions that you are financially sensible. Consequently, the likelihood of obtaining a loan will be increased which leads to an improved credit rating.
- Always make repayments on time
One of the most important things you can do as a discharged bankrupt is to make any kind of repayment on time. Regardless of whether it’s your electricity, rent, or even a secured loan in your name, making these repayments on time will undoubtedly improve your credit rating and increase the confidence that lending institutions have in your financial management skills.
- Don’t be afraid to speak to lending institutions
If you want to apply for a line of credit after your bankruptcy period, or explore what types of options are available to you, don’t hesitate to speak to lenders or other financial institutions to review your circumstances. They are in the best position to advise of your eligibility, and give information on what options would work best for your personal 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. While many of them are helpful in disbuting any incorrect listings on your credit record, they may not be able to do anything else to improve your credit record. 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’re in need of any guidance in rebuilding your credit report, or have any questions relating to your recovery process after bankruptcy, it’s always best to seek advice from qualified professionals. Speak to Bankruptcy Experts Port Stephens on 1300 795 575, or alternatively you can visit our website for further information: www.bankruptcyexpertsportstephens.com.au