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Women and Bankruptcy: Getting Back on Your Feet
More than one million Americans will file for personal bankruptcy this year, and about half of those will be women. Divorce, job loss or serious illness can all force a woman into bankruptcy. And it can be challenging to get back on your feet after the bankruptcy, particularly if you're still coping with the issue that caused your bankruptcy in the first place.
Tips to Take Control of Your Finances
Once your bankruptcy is finalized, here are some tips to help you keep from sliding back into debt:
- Spend no more than half of your monthly income on fixed expenses like rent, car payments and utilities.
- Commit to saving some money each month, even if it's just $5 or $10. Put the money in a separate account so you won't be easily tempted to spend it.
- Live frugally. Your goal is to build a nest egg so that the next time a financial emergency occurs, you're not plunged back into debt.
- Make an effort to begin building good credit. One of the easiest things you can do is to pay your bills in full and on time each month.
- Examine your credit report to ensure that it's accurate. It may not be pretty, but you want to confirm that any debts which were part of your bankruptcy are noted as such on the credit report.
- Consider getting a new credit card, using it for small purchases and then paying the balance in full each month. This will help add some positive information to your credit report. (Making your student loan payment each month will also help.)
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