It’s a personal financial decision to file for bankruptcy, and it’s not one many people take lightly. When your financial debts are more than you can carry with your current income, bankruptcy is a final option. It’s more of a last-ditch effort to get back on track financially, but it’s not something anyone enters into lightly. Knowing how badly bankruptcy affects your credit score, you know it’s something you should only do when you have no other options. Once you file, you’re going to want to learn how to improve the hit your credit score takes.

Check Your Credit Report for Mistakes 

The first thing anyone should do when they want to improve their credit score is check their report. Errors are reported all the time, and it sometimes takes a month or so of written requests and communication between you and the credit bureau to remove mistakes from your report. Once these mistakes are removed, it’s easy to see improvement in your credit score.

Get Back on Track Financially 

You filed bankruptcy to gain control of your finances, and it’s now more important than ever to do just that. Pay your bills on time, don’t make late payments, and don’t miss payments. If your bank allows you to set up automatic payments for your debts, it’s time to sign up. This prevents you from ever making the mistake of forgetting to pay a bill on time.

Apply for a Secured Card 

There’s a good chance you won’t be able to apply for credit once you file for bankruptcy, but once it’s discharged you’re able to do that. You do need a credit card to help you use your credit wisely and to improve your score each month. A secured card might be your only option for a few years following bankruptcy, and that’s a good thing. You pay a deposit, and that’s your credit limit.

You continue to make on-time payments each month that are reported to the major credit bureaus, and your card might turn into an unsecured card. If this happens, your card deposit is refunded to you.

Bankruptcy is a situation no one wants to face, but it can be helpful following a major financial disaster. If you cannot make your financial ends meet, considering bankruptcy is not the end of the world. It’s a fresh start, but it’s not an excuse to forgo making payments or a get-out-of-jail free card to use anytime you can no longer afford your debts. The best thing you can do is avoid financing anything, pay off your debts in full each month, and never spend more than you make.