The stigma once associated with filing for bankruptcy has faded dramatically in recent years. When the 2008 financial crisis swept America, millions of responsible and hardworking citizens were affected significantly. As a result, American society largely recognizes that every one of us can unexpectedly fall on hard times, no matter how diligently we plan and how financially responsible we are.

Nevertheless, filing for bankruptcy can be a trying decision. On both an emotional and physical level, bankruptcy can be challenging. Fortunately, there is an extraordinarily bright side of bankruptcy. While bankruptcy will affect your immediate credit, it can provide a clean slate upon which to build good credit and a solid financial foundation for the future.

After you have filed for bankruptcy, there are several steps you can take to help ensure that your credit rating moves into solid standing over the period of a few years. First, it is a good idea to obtain copies of your credit report from the three major credit reporting agencies. This effort will allow you to better understand where you are working from and what rating you are working towards.

Americans are entitled to one free credit report each year, so obtaining this information will cost you nothing. It is worth noting however that each credit report may look a little different and contain a slightly different score. Given that each credit reporting agency conducts their information gathering in varied ways, this should be no reason for concern.

Once you have your baseline score, you will be ready to start building your credit in a positive way. Please check back later this week, as we discuss how to go about doing so.

Source: Creditcards.com, “7 building blocks of good credit,” Jodi Helmer

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