Declaring bankruptcy may seem like a financial disaster, but it is possible to bounce back in a short amount of time. In most cases, you have to give up your credit cards when you declare bankruptcy. But it's almost impossible to do certain things--like rent a car or reserve a hotel room--without a credit card. Fortunately, there are some ways you can get credit after bankruptcy.
Get a secured credit card.
Secured credit cards are available to almost everyone, even those who have recently declared bankruptcy. You make a cash deposit of a certain amount--say, $250--and you're given a credit card with a $250 limit. Your deposit "secures" your card so that, if in the future you can't make payments on it, the bank will have your deposit as payment. In many cases, if you use the credit card wisely and always make on-time payments, the bank will eventually expand your credit limit past the amount of your deposit.
Accept a higher rate.
Since bankruptcy makes you a higher risk customer, some banks or lending companies may offer you credit--but at an increased rate. Whether it's a loan or a credit card, you may pay a higher interest rate, higher fees or higher charges. And chances are the amount you'll qualify for is lower than it would have been if you had never declared bankruptcy. Still, it is possible to get a loan or credit card after bankruptcy if you’re willing to accept these increased costs.
Use a little collateral.
If you own your own home or car, you can use it as collateral on a loan. In many cases, even after bankruptcy, this will get you a reasonable interest rate and reasonable fees. For example, if you have equity in your home, you can get a Home Equity Line Of Credit (HELOC) which draws on your home's equity as the collateral for your credit.
If you recently declared bankruptcy, there are some options available for you to obtain credit. And it's a good idea to get at least one credit card or small loan--and make regular, timely payments on it--so you can rebuild your credit history.
View our recommended after bankruptcy home equity line of credit lenders online.
Also, check out our recommended after bankruptcy auto financing lenders online, or view our recommended sources for secured credit cards online.