What to do after Wilmington bankruptcy
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When you choose Wilmington bankruptcy to deal with a debt dilemma, it can help you get a fresh start. Filing bankruptcy stops debt collector harassment, foreclosure, and repossession. From there, it opens doors to a better financial future but only if you make the most of it. Here are seven tips to best leverage this new lease on life.
#1 Get on a budget and stick to it
Living life without a budget is like taking a cross-country road trip without a map or knowing how much gas is in the car. If you’re not sure how to set a budget, there are tons of websites and apps to help. There are ebooks and library books and countless free and low-cost resources to help. If you’ve never tried to develop or live on a budget, there’s no time to waste.
#2 Review your credit report
A couple of months after your bankruptcy filing (in Chapter 13) or Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge, you need to pull your credit report from all three bureaus. Make sure that the bankruptcy reflects accurately. Be sure that discharged debts reflect a zero balance and inclusion in the case. Make sure there are not outliers. If you left out any debt from your case, contact your Wilmington bankruptcy attorney to see what you need to do about this.
#3 Pay bills on time
The single biggest factor in your credit score is your payment history. Consistently paying bills on time is critical to rebuilding your credit score after bankruptcy. Particularly important are any bills that report monthly to the bureaus such as credit cards, cell phone carriers, mortgage, and car lenders. However, if you set your budget and stick to it, hopefully, you won’t have any problems. Remember, pay your bills first, and everything else can wait.
#4 Reestablish your credit
A few months after your Wilmington bankruptcy discharge, it’s time to get to work on your credit. The starting point is usually a secured credit card. Get one and use it wisely, never max it out, and always pay the bill in full and on time. Once your score improves, you can get an unsecured card and build from there. Ideally, credit cards should be used to boost your score but never to spend indiscriminately. Use the cards so they have a little activity, pay in full, and repeat. This is the starting point for better credit.
#5 Live below your means
You’ve heard, no doubt, that you should live within your means. Better advice is to live below your means. You shouldn’t spend as much as you can just because you can. By always choosing to spend less and save more, you create a financial buffer against the chance of financial problems. What usually wrecks people’s finances is the unexpected. Living under your budget and saving as much as you can is the best way to protect you and your family.
#6 Seek expert advice
Once Wilmington bankruptcy helps you get your head above water, it’s up to you to stay afloat. Understanding how to plan for your future, how to save, and what financial products can help is useful knowledge. This is a specialized field, so there’s no shame in asking for advice. Your bank or credit union may have free financial advisor resources. Just be sure to check reviews from client to ensure you’re using someone reputable for financial planning services.
#7 Save for today and tomorrow
There are two types of savings – long-term for retirement and short-term for emergencies. You should work towards building up an emergency fund of a couple of thousand dollars to prevent a small money crunch from becoming a big problem. You should also be funding your 401(k) or IRA to help prepare for retirement. When you’re stuck with unaffordable debt, saving can feel impossible. But once you have your bankruptcy discharge, it’s time to start saving!
When you’re ready to unload oppressive debt and get the financial peace of mind you deserve, contact a reputable North Carolina bankruptcy attorney to discuss your options and whether Chapter 7, Chapter 13, or some other solution is best for you.
To find out more, read reviews from our clients then call +1-919-646-2654. Come to the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt for a free Wilmington bankruptcy consultation at one of our locations in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, Wilson, Greensboro, Garner or Wilmington.