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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
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I had a personal bankruptsy 4 years ago and would like to know

Customer Question

I had a personal bankruptsy 4 years ago and would like to know how to get a credit card to start building my credit.
Also which one is a a good one to get.
I am told if you pay the credit card off each month it rebuilds credit.
Any other tips for rebuilding credit are welcome
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

My name is Lucy and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. We have recently implemented a new payment and feedback system. Please be aware that you are rating my courtesy and service as a professional, and not whether the answer supports your legal position. If you have any questions at all, or there is anything I can clarify for you, please bypass the rating system and click “Continue the Conversation” or "Reply". Choosing either of the lowest two options reflects poorly on me (and not the law), so please reply to me if there is anything I can do to help before choosing those options. I appreciate your patience while we work out the kinks.

Depending on your current credit rating, you may want to start by getting a secured credit card. This is for people who are not able to get approved for a traditional credit card. Essentially, you would deposit a set amount with the bank, and they would hold it, in case you didn't make the payments. You could then use the card as normal and, when you eventually closed it, you would get the initial deposit back.

There are hundreds of different cards out there, so there's no one "best" card. You want the one that best suits your needs. If you travel a lot, you may want a card that gives you miles. If you only plan to use it to rebuild your credit, there are cards that give you cash back that might be better (especially because those cards often give additional cash back at gas stations, so it's easy to simply charge your gas each month, if you drive).

There are several different things that banks will look at when evaluating your credit worthiness. History, obviously is important. Setting a pattern of making payments on time is helpful. Also, they will look at total credit utilization. If you have a low limit, but the card is often at or near the limit, that doesn't look as good as if there's a higher limit and you're only using a small portion. Your credit score also reflects the average amount of time your accounts have been open - if you did a bankruptcy and closed all your accounts, only time is really going to help you with this one. Also, hard inquiries count against you. So, make a decision, find the card that's right for you, and apply. If you apply for a bunch of cards at once, that does lower your score - and it takes awhile to recover, because they look at inquiries going back three years. You may want to consider signing up for a free service such as www.creditkarma.com. It will give you a free copy of your credit report any time you want, with a credit report card that shows how you're doing in several different areas. It has suggestions on how to improve your credit, and they will also offer credit cards based on things they see in your profile. It's a really good service for getting an overall picture of your credit, and they track your progress over time.

Good luck.


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