Owning a credit card is always desirable yet obtaining one may be difficult for those with shaky financial pasts. Here is some information regarding credit card access after you’ve declared bankruptcy.

When You Can Apply for a Credit Card

Bankruptcies stay on your credit history between seven and 10 years. Although their impact lessens over time, the effects will be felt for a significant length. You can still get a credit card relatively quickly. If you filed for Chapter 13, you need to wait between three and five years before you can apply. Those who’ve filed for Chapter 7 are only barred from applying for approximately three months.

Strategies To Use When Applying for a Credit Card

Although acquiring a credit card after bankruptcy may be a challenge, it can be done. The right tactics will improve your chances. One option is to apply for a secured credit card. The difference between these and unsecured cards is that you are required to make a pre-paid deposit. This negates the risk of default by providing an upfront payment guarantee. Typically, applicants are charged between $200 and $1,000 to open an account. The more you give, the higher your limit.

There are a few secured credit cards that only require a nominal deposit, charge no annual fees, and have high credit lines. Some even come with rewards programs. Beware that the annual percentage rates of secured cards are higher than others. Using them can rapidly get out of hand. It’s recommended that you never exceed more than 30% of your card’s limit. As with any credit card, pay off the balance as quickly as possible.

Another tactic is becoming an authorized user on a card in someone else’s name. A spouse or close family member is a perfect candidate for this option. The person’s credit history will meld with yours, so make sure that the individual you’re sharing with has a solid financial record. You don’t want to compound your fiscal problems by adding someone else’s mistakes on top of yours. Exercise caution, as misuse could ruin the relationship. Craft an agreement regarding how much can be spent, as well as expectations regarding paying off the balance.

Having a credit card is a fantastic way of rebuilding credit after you’ve filed for bankruptcy. Contact a legal professional about how bankruptcy affects tax debts, such a lawyer from The Law Offices of Marty D. Martin, to help discharge yours and increase the odds of your credit card application being approved.