Filing for personal bankruptcy may seem like a last resort to many Indiana residents. However, as you may have experienced, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can also be a fresh start and may give you a great sense of relief after it unburdens you of your debt. Like others who have been through a bankruptcy, you may wonder what is next. How long will your credit suffer, and how soon will you be able to recover?

You may find it reassuring to learn that rebuilding your life after a bankruptcy is not necessarily as difficult as you previously believed. While it is true that the bankruptcy will show up on your credit report for about 10 years, you can start to repair your credit as soon as your discharge is complete. The following steps can help you rebuild your credit and start over on the best financial footing:

  • Pay your bills on time from this point forward, which can have a significant positive impact on your credit report.
  • Put a portion of your paycheck in a savings account as a landing pad in case of a future financial emergency.
  • Carefully check your credit score each month and report any inaccuracies.
  • Consider applying for a secured loan or secured credit card, which can further help to raise your credit score.
  • Adhere to the budget and strategies that you learned in credit counseling before your bankruptcy.

Repairing your credit will not happen overnight, but you may start to see your credit score rise sooner than you imagined. With the proper planning and steps, you may also qualify for major loans, such as an auto or home loan, within a few years of your bankruptcy discharge. Like many others who have gone through personal bankruptcy, the steps you take during and after Chapter 7 can give you the help you need for a better financial future.