Glass half empty, glass half full.
You know the cliché, but there truly are two worldviews when it comes to picking up the pieces after adversity. Declaring bankruptcy is one of those challenges. Just like when a home is ravaged by storm, you rebuild a piece at a time, learning from past mistakes and maintaining as you go. It will take a long time but it can be done. Your credit score will rise again.
Reflecting on the past isn't helpful, except to learn. In starting over, the key is to establish both responsibility and a track record that looks forward.
In filing for bankruptcy, you'll take credit counseling classes that advise on monthly budgets and spending. Stick within the lessons from these classes and take refresher courses if needed. Credit is based on your ability to balance incoming and outgoing funds.
Using new accounts wisely
A myth of bankruptcy is that you won't qualify for another credit card. Additionally, many avoid credit cards after going through the process out of fear. Opening new accounts is the surest way to rebuild credit. There are predatory companies who will offer high interest unsecured accounts but most banks and credit unions offer secured credit cards and loans, which can reestablish a credit record. Secured accounts utilize a deposit to draw from in case of failure to pay. Gas and retail cards, used conservatively, are another type of card that lends to risky borrowers, such as yourself.
Of course, making timely and full payments is the key to improving your credit score. By sticking to a budget plan and utilizing limited forms of credit, such as secured or low limit cards, consumers gradually restore their credit scores. There is no quick fix, but studies show that within just a few years many borrowers have achieved semi-normal credit ratings and can take loans for major life purchases that include a car or home.
Bankruptcy will show on a credit report for up to 10 years, but creditors also know that you can't declare bankruptcy for another 8 years after discharge -- which means you're going to pay off what they lend you. The majority who file, never file again. Instead, they rebuild and start anew. With a little patience and working with more selective lenders, bankruptcy won't cast a shadow on your future.