Filing for bankruptcy in Nebraska is a means to give yourself enough financial breathing room to get your fiscal life in order.  Becoming overwhelmed by debt, facing the uncertainty of your future as you watch the bills mount, can be draining.  It is easy to throw your hands up in despair.  But you shouldn’t neglect your financial future.  While you may feel that having filed for bankruptcy is the end of the road, it is, in fact, an opportunity for a new beginning, a fresh start.  Your credit is going to be terrible for a while.  It probably was before the bankruptcy and there are a number of things you can and should do in order to secure a brighter fiscal future.  Your financial issues have been resolved and it’s important to set out on the right foot.

STEP ONE

You need to have a plan for your future.

You want to take a realistic look at what debts you have left and figure out the optimum way to pay them back as quickly as possible.  Then you need to start saving for your retirement.  You need to decide when you want to retire, how much money you will need, and what kind of lifestyle you want to have.

STEP TWO

Check your credit scores.

Once your Nebraska bankruptcy case has been discharged, you will need to check your credit reports in order to make sure that the credit bureaus show that your debts have been discharged.  The credit bureaus have two months from the date of discharge to get your credit report right.  If it is not correct, you must write to them and ask them to correct the disputed information.  See http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre21.shtm.

It may seem disheartening to see your financial record in such stark terms, but you need to look at it and make sure that the record is an accurate reflection of you financial circumstances. 

STEP THREE

In order to get back on track, you are going to have to establish a good credit record.

This may seem daunting, since the bankruptcy will be on your record for 7-10 years. However, you can start by establishing a solid credit record through the use and prompt, full, monthly repayment of a credit card.  You will probably get offers, and while it may seem counterintuitive to spend over $100 for an application for a $300 credit limit credit card, it is the first step in establishing your credit.

Once you have established a solid credit history on your $300 credit card, you will begin receiving offers for cards with higher limits.  Apply for one of these and use it on items you would purchase anyway, like gas, and then pay the amount due in full every month.  If you do not receive applications, you can look online for credit cards offered to those who have filed for bankruptcy protection.

If you belong to a credit union and it was not involved in your bankruptcy, you may be able to obtain a small amount for a secured loan tied to your savings account. You can use this and then repay it in order to establish a credit history. A short-term installment loan from a credit union is also a good method for establishing your ability to repay a loan.  These loans are typically one to two years in duration, and are an excellent opportunity to show that you can repay an installment loan.  Credit unions have easier requirements for their loans, so that you’ll probably get a better rate and be able to establish your credit-worthiness more quickly.

You may receive an offer to buy a new car.  This is not a good idea, since you will probably be offered an interest rate that is nearly 30%.  This means you’ll be paying almost as much in interest as you would for the price of the car. The better option is to work to rebuild your credit and then, in a few years, apply for a better car loan rate.  If you kept a home in the bankruptcy, confirm that your mortgage lender is reporting your monthly payments to the credit bureaus.

These three steps are necessary in order reestablish your creditworthiness.  They can seem daunting, but they are your best bet for a secure financial future.

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