If you have recently declared bankruptcy and want to rebuild your credit, it is essential that you regularly check your credit report to make sure that all of the details are correct. In reality, everyone needs good credit. Even if you never intend on buying a home or a new car, your credit score will still impact your life. A bad credit score may require you to pay more for car insurance or cost you more for your monthly cell phone plan.
Likewise, a bad credit score could cost you a dream job. So, please keep this in mind when thinking about the time and effort it will take to clean up the credit report. If you have never attempted to clean up your score before, it’s not that hard, and we will make it much more manageable for you. It’s easy to become preoccupied with life and assume that all information reported is accurate, but this is not the case most of the time.
In addition to taking the time to view your credit reports regularly, you must also follow the correct steps to make sure that any false or wrongly stated information is rectified — otherwise, this incorrect information will still prevent you from rebuilding your credit and cost you more MONEY. This will really become important in the two years following a bankruptcy when you are trying to re-establish your credit.
Here are the correct steps to take.
1. Review your credit report thoroughly and regularly. To do this DO NOT use an online company like Equifax in order to view your credit report. Why? You might lose certain rights in order to comply with that company’s own rules (each company is different). Instead, write to annualcreditreport.com and use the MAIL IN form to request your credit report.
Note: you MUST ask for your report in writing. Sure, it may seem archaic, but it’s the only really good way to get all of your credit information and not be taken advantage of by the credit reporting agencies.
2. Once you have your report, take a good look at it. Since you have declared bankruptcy, all debts that can be cleared should be cleared. Next to any cleared debts the note ‘zero balance discharged in bankruptcy’ should appear. If there is anything else written — anything at all! — make sure to correct that detail. The above statement is the only one that should appear.
3. If there is any wrong information on your credit report, write directly to the credit agency that has reported the wrong information. One again, it is very important that you do not take the easy road on this and email or call the credit reporting agency, this dispute must be submitted in writing. You cannot submit this information online or through an email because you may not be able to prove your case if they fail or refuse to remove the negative information. Why am I telling you to take the hard way? Evidence, that’s why. When I sue the credit reporting agencies, I need evidence. Without evidence, you do not have a case.
A Long Process
Again, it’s a lot simpler to ask for a credit report online and to submit things online, but this is not what we recommend. Even though it takes a while to submit information or ask for a credit report in writing, this is the absolute best way to go about this process. It’s important that you consider what you might be giving up when you gain information through any kind of private company, so keep this in mind when tempted to ask for credit rating details electronically.
A Qualified Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help
It might not seem like there’s a lot involved in declaring bankruptcy, but a good legal team can do a lot more than plead your case. When you select a bankruptcy lawyer, it’s important that the lawyer you choose helps you decide whether or not bankruptcy is actually the right course for you. In some cases bankruptcy is ideal, but in other cases it’s not the best solution.