The decision to file for bankruptcy is often one made out of necessity. Though more Americans are filing for personal bankruptcy due to overwhelming medical bills than for any other reason, numerous financial circumstances can prompt individuals to seek out the protections and benefits that bankruptcy has to offer.

Although filing for bankruptcy can be both a necessary and beneficial process, it does result in some temporarily negative consequences. The primary negative consequence resulting from bankruptcy is a negative effect on an individual’s credit score. However, this drop in credit score will only be temporary if bankruptcy filers take care to begin rebuilding their credit right away and maintain good financial habits for several years following bankruptcy.

Rebuilding credit steadily and consistently begins with paying one’s bills on time. Hopefully the bankruptcy process has allowed you to start fresh financially. It is therefore important to live within your means and to pay your bills before they are due after filing for bankruptcy in order to begin rebuilding your credit.

In addition, it will help your credit score if you slowly begin to build positive credit history. A number of credit cards exist for people with low credit scores. Your bankruptcy attorney should be able to give you some sound advice about what offers to accept and how much debt you should be taking out during the first few years after you file for bankruptcy protection. As long as you pay off your debts consistently and on time, your credit history should slowly but steadily improve.

Source: Fox Business, “How Do I Establish Credit After Bankruptcy Discharge?” Justin Harelik, April 22, 2014