Credit Card After Bankruptcy
If you have just declared bankruptcy, you are both happy that you are almost or completely debt free and a little worried about your financial future. Bankruptcy might be a way to get relief from the burden of debts but at the same time it is a stain on your credit report, which certainly makes it more difficult to obtain credit, not to mention credit on good terms. If you have lost property as a result of the bankruptcy procedure, this is even worse because this way you won't be able to get a secured loan (i.e. a mortgage) and you will have to rely on other sources of credit.
One of these sources are credit cards. Well, in the very beginning after your bankruptcy you might be eligible for a secured credit card only, which is not exactly getting credit because you are actually using your money but if you don't stand a chance to be approved for an unsecured one, even a secured credit card is more than nothing. Still, there are other alternatives in addition to secured credit cards, so the first thing you need to do is to get yourself together and start looking for alternatives.
Start searching for credit cards that are available for people with bad credit or no credit history at all. Almost all credit card issuers offer at least one such card and there are even issuers, who specialize in offering credit cards for bad credit. Needless to say, they don't do it because they feel sorry for you but because they can make really fat profits from you.
After you find ten or more offers of credit cards for bad credit, start comparing them. You might be able to find unsecured credit cards as well but generally their terms and conditions are worse than those of secured cards. Still, it is not impossible to find an unsecured credit card with lower interest rates and fees than a secured one. Interest rates, application and maintenance fees are some of the major points to consider. But be prepared that most of the credit cards for bad credit charge interest of 20% and more, so don't expect to get a nice offer with 7% annual rate.
If you manage to get an unsecured credit card, its credit limit is also of importance, though in your situation you will hardly risk with a high credit limit that can trick you again into accumulating debt. You will hardly want to get again into debt and even if you somehow do it, you should know in advance that you can't file for a new bankruptcy in the next few years, so this time you will have to pay your debts rather than get relieved from them in a bankruptcy procedure.
So, you might have to put up with not so glorious offers but remember that the most important thing right now is to rebuild your credit history. Because of this, always check in advance if the issuer of the credit card you have chosen reports all your transactions to the three credit bureaus because there are issuers who do not do it and in this case your new credit card will hardly be of much help in rebuilding your credit record.
The record of your bankruptcy will stay on your credit history for 10 years, so there is no way to hide it from prospective lenders. What you can do is to convince them that since you have already touched the bottom, you will hardly want to get there again and this time you will be a diligent payer. So, pay all your monthly payments on time and you will see that in one or two years, your credit rating will be repaired and you will be able to get better offers.