Hiring a bankruptcy attorney is your best first step toward a refreshed, healthy financial future. The decision can be a tough one, we know. Once on track to file though, we’ll clear the path for you, assisting at every step and consistently communicating. There are a number of things you can do along the way, too. Many of which are quite simple but go a long way toward ensuring your next “economic life,” as it were, is as productive as possible. You’ll also want to keep a keen eye on your credit reports after you file. Make sure the accounts that were discharged are recorded that way. Also, correct any mistakes in personal information. It pays to have a solid understanding when each specific account on your report will be removed. Some items stay longer than others, so pay attention to the time-frames. Be proactive. Learning to pay attention to these items will help you form habits about managing money. And don’t be discouraged by the state of your credit report. Don’t let it remind you of anything but your own decision to take care of the problem through bankruptcy. You made the best decision possible. Relative to being proactive, consider contacting a few lenders to inquire about how your bankruptcy reconciles with their loan requirements. Granted, today’s banking industry is quite a bit tougher than what we saw just a couple of years ago. Nevertheless, it helps to educate yourself to get an idea of when it would be best for you to apply for a loan and what you’ll need to do to improve your standing. The key is to not let yourself be surprised. Try to land a secured credit card. And we mean a secured credit card. Banks have re-ignited their credit card marketing efforts, creating different silos of services based on a person’s financial history over just the last couple of years. That means they are offering unsecured cards to people how may have filed or had a foreclosure. Those cards have different fees and rules than cards offered to a person without a bankruptcy, for example. A secured card is a great way to prevent yourself from going into debt again by limiting what it is you can spend. It also can help re-establish your payment history, which is probably the best step toward a sound credit history. Consider approaching a credit union about any banking services you need. Banks are now very fee-happy as they try to recuperate from the restrictions put on their industry by Washington. Credit unions are also much more consumer-oriented and community-centered. That is, they actually want your business. Find one close by and give it to them. Last, don't think of your bankruptcy as the end of your credit life- It's not. Most of our clients recover from bankruptcy in a fairly short amount of time by being committed to the goal of rebuilding credit. Take concrete steps to rebuild your credit and don't be a passive bystander in your financial future. If you're struggling with credit card, medical, tax, or student loan debt, contact the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt for a free initial debt consultation. Call 1-888-234-4181 today. Offices in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, Wilson, Greensboro, Garner or Wilmington.