Starting over after
In the past I have owned two homes and
was never late with payments. My credit was very good. Due to job and health circumstances
I have recently had to file bankruptcy (I did not own a home at the time).
I want to be very careful about re-establishing credit. Can
you please tell me the best places to apply for a credit card? I am concerned
that due to the bankruptcy I will be charged outrageous interest rates or get
myself into some type of problem if I choose the wrong company to apply with.
I want ONE card, not multiples. My biggest reason besides re-establishing credit
is I sometimes must travel for work and we are required to use our own card and
then be reimbursed. I would appreciate any guidance you could give me. Thank you.
Bankrate is a great place to shop for a new credit card. Its
credit card search
feature lets you pick the card features that are important to you and compare
terms across financial institutions offering these features.
are companies that prey on the recently bankrupt and charge outrageous fees and
interest rates for you to have the privilege of carrying a credit card. The most
egregious that I've seen from people writing in to this column is a company that
charges $350 in fees to give you a credit card with a $500 credit line.
rates are a concern, but the bigger concern is your ability to manage credit.
If you've done without credit for a while, then there's often a pent-up demand
to spend money on items that you can't really afford.
big a credit line do you need to cover your corporate travels? How quickly will
you be reimbursed by your firm when you turn in your expenses? The goal should
be a credit card with a high enough line to cover your expenses and a long enough
grace period that you would normally be reimbursed before the credit card bill
Often a secured credit card is the best first step
for someone who has recently had their bankruptcy discharged. If you're still
going through the bankruptcy then you may not have the financial flexibility to
set up a secured credit card. In this situation you should check with the court
or your attorney.
If a secured card isn't right for you, then
you're going to have to consider the high rate cards you're trying to avoid. The
less time between you and your bankruptcy discharge, the more risk to the lender.
Remember: Your goal is to have a card for corporate travel. If you keep credit
charges to just that purpose, then the interest charges should be minimal even
at the high APRs charged by these cards. This Bankrate feature
identifies companies that extend credit to people in your situation.
your applications to one or two firms. Applying for multiple credit cards makes
you look desperate for credit. Lenders hate lending to desperate people. Credit
applications stay on your credit report for two years. If you belong to a credit
union, you should also check the credit cards they offer to their members.