There is only one person in charge of your financial recovery after completing the bankruptcy process - you. If you do not make an effort to change your financial habits and hold yourself accountable for your own budgeting, saving, and spending, you will quickly find yourself facing the same debt problems that drove you to bankruptcy in the first place. Of course, an unexpected accident or loss of your job could put unanticipated stress on your finances, but if you practice healthy financial habits, an issue like this can be less destructive than it would be for somebody without these habits.
There are many ways you can hold yourself accountable for your financial choices. Take the following into consideration as you prepare to close your bankruptcy case.
Sign Up for a Credit Monitoring Service or Budgeting App
You can use programs like MyLendingTree and CreditKarma to stay on top of your credit report. By doing this, you can watch your credit score rise and fall and see the events that trigger these changes, such as opening new credit cards and paying your credit card bills on time. By tracking your credit, you can also quickly see if any suspicious activity appears on your account and take the appropriate action to correct any issues related to identity theft.
Budgeting apps like Mint can also be useful because they show you what you spend and how you spend it with engaging charts. You can use these apps to set savings goals and keep track of your spending in different categories, so you can see where you need to make changes when necessary.
Work with a Counselor to Identify and Correct Destructive Behaviors
Many people get into debt because of the behavioral and psychological issues they face. You could benefit quite a bit from working with a psychological counselor to identify your destructive behaviors and work past them. Cognitive behavioral therapy involves talking with a counselor about the difficulties one faces and developing healthy, productive coping mechanisms for those difficulties. It is a goal-oriented approach to solving problems that often requires the patient to achieve small steps toward a final goal.
Start Building Positive Credit Again
You cannot be afraid of using credit. Open a secured credit card to start building credit again. Pay close attention to how much you charge to this card and pay it off in full every month, no excuses. The higher your credit score, the the better deals and interest rates for which you will be eligible later.
Work with an Experienced Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney
The whole point of filing for bankruptcy is to regain control of your finances and recover from the financial difficulties you faced previously. For legal advice and representation as you move through this process, work with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. Contact our team at Newland & Newland, LLP today to set up your initial consultation in our office. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.
(image courtesy of Madison Kaminski)