It is hard to file for bankruptcy, and it may seem like everything is stuck, but it’s not the end. You can still recover from bankruptcy. The credit report will last for 7 to 10 years, but it won’t stay forever. You must work on your credit during this time.

1. Monitor Your Credit Report

Normally, your score will drop from 100 to 200 points or more. First, you should check your credit score to see where you are. After you know where you are, learn how to increase your credit score.

It is best to monitor your credit score from month to month. When your accounts are discharged during bankruptcy, check your score to ensure these changes were reported. You should also watch for red flags like identity theft or other issues.

2. Practice Responsible Credit Habits

Follow these tips to improve your credit score!

-Pay on time same day
Payment history accounts for 35% of your FICO Score calculation, so you must make on-time payments every month. Not only should you pay the credit card bill regularly, but you should also pay the utility bills and other bills on time.

-Reduce credit card use and balance
Reduce how much you are spending and only spend on small things. Make sure you change your spending habits that led to bankruptcy. The balance you owe makes up 30% of your FICO Score calculation.

-Be Patient
You won’t magically get a good score again. It takes time to go up from two months to two years. Until then, keep staying on a budget and get your score up!

3. Get a Secured Credit Card

Taking out a secured credit card requires making a refundable security deposit and borrowing against it. While these cards tend to come with high-interest rates, if they report to all three credit bureaus, they’re a great option to show responsible credit behavior until you’re better qualified for a traditional card with more competitive terms.

4. Get a Co-Signer

It will be hard to get a loan after bankruptcy, so in this case, a co-signer can help you qualify. But because the co-signer will be responsible for paying the rest of the loan if you fail, be careful with who you choose. Ask a friend or family member who is financially stable and then provide an easy out.

5. Become an Authorized User

Building your credit as an authorized user on someone else’s credit card is often more feasible than getting a co-signer. As an authorized user involves having a card in your name that’s attached to another borrower’s account. You can use the card for purchases without qualifying for the account.