Filing bankruptcy is a tough decision, and for most, it is the absolute last resort. Nevertheless, it is the only way that some people can escape bad financial decisions from the past. No matter what led you to file, you will have a hard time adjusting to life after bankruptcy. Fortunately, there are many credit cards for bad credit after bankruptcy that can help you in this difficult transition. Before you lose hope on having a credit card any time soon, check out the information below. You might be surprised by your options.
Can I Get a Credit Card after Bankruptcy?
A lot of people assume that they cannot get a loan or a line of credit until their bankruptcy falls off their credit report, but that is not the case. You can actually get a credit card fairly soon after filing. You just might not get the same kind of card you would have received before bankruptcy. Some banks may even view you as a slightly better customer now that you have filed bankruptcy since you can't file again for seven more years. If you run up a large bill, chances are now greater that you will pay it off. You must be cautious after you have filed bankruptcy. You don't want to fall back into debt again.
Rebuilding Credit After Bankruptcy
You may get different credit card offers based on how long it has been since you filed bankruptcy and what you have done with your credit since then. Here are some examples:
- Right after bankruptcy: Immediately after you file, you may get offers for high interest credit cards with very low credit limits. Watch out for the hidden fees associated with these cards, such as cancellation fees, annual fees, monthly fees and activation fees. These fees could all eat into your already-low balance.
- After some credit rebuilding: After you have spent a little bit of time rebuilding your credit, you may be able to get a standard credit card for people with bad credit. Many of these cards will also have low credit limits and just slightly better interest rates. You'll probably have a hard time getting offers from the credit card companies that were affected by your filing, but there could be an issuer who may want your business.
- After substantial credit rebuilding: Once you have built your credit score back to the "good" rating, you can apply for almost any credit card you want. This will take several years after a bankruptcy. Most credit card companies will eventually disregard your past problems once you have stabilized your finances.
- After bankruptcy goes away: After your bankruptcy is no longer on your credit report, you can apply for just about any credit card you want. Try to find the cards with the lowest fees possible, in case something happens again.
Guaranteed Credit Cards for Bad Credit after Bankruptcy
If you don't get any credit card offers that you like after bankruptcy, you still have options that have guaranteed approval. Secured credit cards are a sure thing no matter what your credit history looks like because you put down your own money as collateral. You make a deposit for whatever amount you want – within the limits of the credit card – and then use that money as if it were a line of credit. You have to pay it back by the end of the month or face a fee, and you still have to treat it like someone else's money. When you cancel the card, you get your money back. If you have a balance at that time, you get whatever is left over to use as you want.
There are a number of credit card options for people that have filed for bankruptcy. You just have to find one that works for you. Don't get discouraged.