A bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for ten years, but there are things in which you can do in order to increase your credit score from the very beginning. Bankruptcy is not the end of the world and many people recover well after filing.
The first and foremost thing to do after a bankruptcy is to continue paying your monthly debt obligations on time each month. You will undoubtedly continue to have living expenses, such as electricity, water, and gas. If you do not pay these expenses in a timely fashion they may affect your credit score.
Open a checking account and maintain your records well. A checking account will establish a banking history and this history will serve you well when applying for new loans in the future, such as vehicle loans.
After your bankruptcy has been discharged for a period of one year, apply for a credit card. As long as your credit history has been unaffected for the previous 12 months, you may get approved for an un-secured small limit credit card. This credit facility will likely have an annual fee associated with it. This is common practice and a small price to pay for new credit establishment.
If this fails, apply for a secured credit card. You will need to place funds into this account right away in order for it to be approved. These funds will serve as your deposit.
Maintain your new credit card well. Only charge approximately 30% of the limit amount and be sure to pay this debt off at the end of each month. This will supply a favorable credit history to your credit report and your score will increase with time. Do not apply for multiple credit cards at one time. Each application will cost you on your credit score.
You may further build your credit with your next vehicle purchase. Most dealerships will offer some sort of dealer financing for higher risk credit clients. Your rate will be higher, but it will help build your score with timely payments.
After six or seven years you will be able to receive a good rate on a mortgage. I know this because I have been through this ordeal. I have been approved for two mortgages within the ten year time frame. In ten years, after the date of discharge, pull your credit reports once again and be sure the bankruptcy does not appear.
As the years go by, you will see an increase in your score and greater lending opportunities will become available to you. As long as you continue to maintain your new credit well, pay all your bills on time each month and leave available credit open on your credit report your score will steadily increase.