Can I Get a Credit Card After Bankruptcy?

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The bankruptcy process gives you a chance to start fresh and rebuild your credit. So it shouldn’t surprise you that you can get a credit card after you have wrapped up the necessary paperwork and completed all of the obligations under your bankruptcy plan. A Bergen County bankruptcy lawyer can tell you more about how you can get right to work on raising up that credit score.

When Will I Be Eligible for a Credit Card?

You may be able to apply for a credit card as soon as your bankruptcy process ends. We recommend securing a copy of your credit report and checking your credit score. You can also look for any discrepancies in your report and get them cleared up before you apply for a card anywhere.

Once you start looking around for credit cards to apply for, focus on cards that are meant for people with little or bad credit. Many of the cards that you see advertised with big rewards and cash back percentages are going to be out of your reach for now. You will be better off with cards with low limits or a secured credit card, one that requires you to deposit money of your own before you use it.

How Long Will a Bankruptcy Show Up on My Credit Report?

Your bankruptcy will show up on your credit report for around seven to 10 years. This does not prevent you from getting a loan or a line of credit though. If you continue to work on your credit and develop good habits, that bankruptcy will quickly begin to fade in relevance, even to some of the more selective lenders.

Is There Anything I Should Know Before Applying for a Credit Card?

When you apply for a credit card, a “hard inquiry” can ding your credit score a few points. This is a temporary hit and your score should recover soon enough, but this is why it is not a good idea to apply for every single card you see. Too many inquiries in a short amount of time could have a significant impact on your score.

You should also know that the cards you are likely to qualify for are likely to have low interest rates. You are not going to get a card with introductory bonuses like a 0% APR when you have just emerged from bankruptcy. Make sure that you do not overextend yourself and pay that bill in full each month.

How Can I Continue to Improve My Credit?

Your credit card can help you rebuild your credit if you’re smart. We recommend:

  • Keeping utilization low and not maxing out your card
  • Paying on time each month
  • Only asking for credit line increases after a significant credit score improvement

Talk to Our Attorneys Today

If you are considering bankruptcy, know that you do not have to go through the process on your own. Contact the Law Office of Boyd & Squitieri and schedule a free consultation. We can tell you more about how bankruptcy works, how you can benefit, and what our attorneys can do to assist you.