If you are feeling overwhelmed by your debt, chances are it is affecting many areas of your life. You may wake up in the night feeling anxious, and your work may suffer because of your lack of sleep. You may feel short-tempered with your loved ones, and your debt troubles may be taking a toll on your physical health. You may have exhausted all your resources, taken a second job and cut back as far as you can on expenses.

Are you putting off seeking information about bankruptcy? This is not unusual. Bankruptcy carries a stigma many do not want to deal with. In addition, you may be like many who worry that the damage a bankruptcy can do to your credit report is not worth it. What you may not realize is that recovering from bankruptcy is not as difficult as it seems.

Taking steady steps forward

Whether you know it or not, your credit is already suffering. Delinquencies, repossessions and defaults all make their marks on your score and remain there for years. While a bankruptcy stays on your credit report for up to 10 years, the impact it has on the decisions of potential creditors decreases as time passes and you continue to make good choices with your money. Some of the positive actions you can take to improve your credit after bankruptcy include the following:

  • Switch to a cash system to avoid spending money frivolously.
  • Ask your utility companies to report your good payment record to the credit companies to improve your credit history. Only one credit company, Experian, accepts such reports.
  • Apply for a secured credit card, which allows you to charge only the amount of money you have on deposit, so you can repair your score and prove your creditworthiness.
  • Do not fall for any scams that offer to repair your credit for a fee. You can do the work yourself with a little discipline and diligence.
  • Pay all your bills on time. Late payments make up 35 percent of your credit score.

Perhaps the most effective way to ensure you pay your bills on time is having a solid, workable budget. Not only will this help you keep track of what you owe when, but it is also key to learning money management and being prepared for unexpected expenses.

If you are still confused about whether bankruptcy can benefit you in your circumstances, you would do well to obtain as much information as possible from an experienced California legal professional.