Cases of bankruptcy and insolvency are on the rise in England and Wales, as more and more people feel the economic pinch. If you’re unlucky enough to be one of them, follow these five simple tips to help rebuild a damaged credit history – from the experts at Loqbox.
The good news is that bankruptcy is not the end of the road financially. With some patience, the right guidance and using credit responsibly, it is possible to rebuild your credit rating over time.
During the six years that the bankruptcy is on your credit report, it will be important to try rebuild a positive credit history to help give lenders confidence you will meet repayments in the future.
1. Double check your credit report
Any formal insolvency will affect your credit report for the best part of six years, but it’s still worth checking yours is in the best shape it can be. Each major credit reference agency (CRA) offers a free service online – Clearscore (uses Equifax data), Credit Club (uses Experian data), and MSM Credit Monitor (uses TransUnion data).
2. Fix any mistakes
Make sure your reports from all three CRAs match and are error free, and that your bankruptcy (or IVA) is correctly filed everywhere. Contact the relevant CRA’s customer service department if you need to make corrections.
While you can expect to see separate records on your report of debts that were included in your bankruptcy … these should now be updated to indicate no outstanding balance. If any haven’t been updated, either ask [the CRA] to raise a dispute or contact the lender or lenders yourself direct.
3. Make sure your discharge is registered
It’s surprisingly common for your discharge from bankruptcy or completed IVA to slip through the net with CRAs. Each CRA can let you know of any documents they need from you, and should be able to sort things for you fairly quickly.
4. Get the right bank account
If you’ve opened a new account recently, make sure it’s right for you. You probably won’t qualify for an overdraft, and may not need some other perks of packaged accounts, so check you’re not paying for services you won’t use. As Citizens Advice puts it…
You may find that no bank will agree to you opening an account with them. If this applies to you, you have three main options: apply for a basic bank account; open a Post Office card account; get a prepaid debit card. The best solution for you will depend on what kind of income you have and the kinds of payments you want to make. … Basic bank accounts are very simple, so they don’t provide a cheque book or overdraft.
5. Start thinking about credit
Borrowing probably sounds like the last thing you want to do again in a hurry, but you’re bound to need your credit history at some point – for a phone contract, paying bills, or a credit application – so it’s worth thinking about sooner rather than later.
It will be a great help if you can obtain some credit facilities and manage them well over the next few years. If you don’t do this, when the bankruptcy goes you’ll be left with an empty credit report, which won’t help you at all.
James Jones, Experian
Loqbox itself is completely free. And because it lets you rebuild your damaged credit history just by saving as little as £20 a month, signing up to Loqbox the perfect way to bounce back from bankruptcy.
Download our free checklist on making sure you are credit fit.
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This post was written and compiled by the credit experts behind Loqbox. To sign up for free or read more about the clever way Loqbox works, head to Loqbox.com.