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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Jan 13, 2012.

Question

My husband and I filed for bankrupty in2009. We are still having financial difficulties due to subsequent medical bills. His income is the source of income besides my earning small monies for odd jobs. I want to rebuild my credit independent of using his income on the application. He got another credit card since the bankruptcy but is behind on it. What can we do to improve the situation? How can I rebuild my credit and can I do it independent of his income?

Answer

It will take some time and effort to rebuild your credit.   You can get a free credit report annually at .  You can review this to review your credit situation.   You can rebuild your credit by paying off you bills on a timely basis.   It certainly will not help your credit rating if you are behind on your credit card payments.   If you have to, pay the minimum amount.  This is certainly better than paying nothing or ignoring the bill.

Also, if you have medical bills, you can talk to the business office of the hospital or medical provider to see if they can make any adjustments to the bills.   They may have some flexiblity to give you discounts, especially if you are charged more than another patient for the same service.   Be proactive and talk to them to make sure you are getting the best deal.   Ignoring and not dealing with medical bills is the number one cause of bankruptcies.   Once the bill has been sent to a collection agency, there is not very much you can do.   Contact them before they send you bill to collections.

Each of you have independent credit ratings.  However if you have joint accounts, you will both be affected by any late payments, etc.   If you think you can rebuild your credit faster than your husband, then do not have joint credit cards.

Keep paying your bills on time and staying proactive with them will put you on a good path towards rebuilding your credit.


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