One of the first things you’ll notice after your bankruptcy discharge is that your mailbox is overflowing with credit card offers. Since all (or most) of your debts have been discharged, many creditors see you as a good risk. But be careful, not every credit card offer is a gem.
You’ll need to figure out which credit card offers are good for you. A credit card can be a great financial tool but making sure you get the right card for your specific needs is key.
You’ll need to examine a few factors to determine if it’s a good fit:
- Interest rate. It’s normal for credit cards marketed to recent bankruptcy filers to have a high interest rate. But you can still find some reasonable rates out there, especially for secured cards. The standard interest rate is for someone with excellent credit is between 12% – 15% depending on the type of card. Use this range to measure your offers against.
- Annual fees. There are a lot of credit card offers out there with annual fees. This can get pretty pricey. It’s probably best to pass on those offers because you’ll be spending money in an area that’s not necessary. There are plenty of credit cards without an annual fee that are more than willing to lend to you after bankruptcy.
- Reporting policy. Only consider credit cards that have a policy of reporting your payment history to the three major credit bureaus. You can’t rebuild your credit if no one knows about your positive payment record.
- Benefits & Rewards. Look for a card that provides benefits you need. For example, if you have a long commute to work it may be smart to get a credit card associated with a gas station that provides rewards in the form of rebates on your gas purchases.
Stopping the Offers
If at any time you don’t want to receive these credit offers, you can put a stop to them by opting out. Visit www.optoutprescreen.com or call 888-5-OPT-OUT to put a stop to credit offers.