Most people don’t have large sums of money just sitting around to be used in case of an emergency. When you somehow end up with a large amount of debt and not a lot of money, it can be very difficult to handle. At this point, many people will file for bankruptcy. While this may seem like an extreme step to take, for some people, it is the only way forward.

Bankruptcy involves going to court and having a judge assess your financial situation. The judge then delegates to creditors what assets you do have and sometimes part of the income you’ll make in the future. As such, bankruptcy obviously involves great stress, negative emotions, and relationship problems. It also destroys your credit, making it very difficult to get a loan in the future. However, there are things that you can do to help your finances recover from bankruptcy.

Get Your Credit Report

Without browsing your credit report, there’s no way to accurately assess your financial situation. Your credit score will invariably go down drastically immediately following bankruptcy. However, there are several things you can do to raise it. It will undoubtedly take a while to boost your credit score, but without looking at your official credit report, attempts to raise this often-relied upon metric are futile.

Pay Your Bills on Time

Paying your bills is one of the most important things that you can do to repair your credit score. Your credit score is an indicator of how much of a risk it is to loan you money, and the faster you pay the money back, the less risk it poses. Paying your bills on time will also help you budget the money that you need in order to live within your means and avoid overspending.

Avoid Debt

Many lenders won’t dare loan money to someone who recently underwent bankruptcy. However, some will. Don’t take these opportunities and run with them, as racking up debt from personal loans may lead you to a second bankruptcy. If debt is unavoidable, pay it off as quickly as you can.

Use a Credit Card Wisely

An effective way to raise your credit score involves using a credit card regularly, but keeping the balance low or completely cleared. You can do so by paying off your card before the billing period ends, which also prevents interest from building up. When using your credit card, never spend more than you have in your bank account, and pay it off at the earliest possible moment. This will help improve your credit score and prevent you from ending up with financial trouble.

Get Professional Help

While bankruptcy hearings usually require lawyer consultations, going to court, and dealing with other professionals, most people who undergo bankruptcy don’t get legal assistance after they’ve filed for bankruptcy. Contacting a lawyer who deals with bankruptcy and credit repair will help you recover from emotionally and financially painful bankruptcies. You should also reach out to a professional credit counselor. Many employers, governments, and businesses provide access to credit counselors for free. These programs can help you get back on your feet and give you the resources to avoid ending up in this situation again.