Zero-interest credit cards are appealing because you can use them to save money on large purchases or transfer balances from other cards with higher interest rates. However, if you have declared bankruptcy in the last seven to 10 years, it is incredibly unlikely you will qualify for a 0% interest credit card. Here’s how you might still be able to get one.
Become an authorized user
If you’re really set on using a 0% interest credit card and have a bankruptcy on your record, then piggybacking on someone else’s good credit may be a good option. If you know someone who is willing to add you as an authorized user on her account, you could end up with access to a 0% interest credit card. However, know that she will be able to see what you purchase and can remove you from the account at any time.
Build your credit while you wait
Another option is to work on building up your credit while you wait for your credit record to be cleared of the bankruptcy. This is a longer-term method that makes good use of the time you have to spend waiting for your record to return to better standing. You can also use this waiting period to establish responsible financial habits, such as only charging what you can afford to pay off in full each month. While you may not yet qualify for a 0% interest credit card, there are other credit cards you can use to build your credit in the meantime.
What if you declared bankruptcy years ago?
Usually, bankruptcy moves off your credit report after seven to 10 years, depending on the type of bankruptcy you filed for. If you declared bankruptcy more than 10 years ago and have been working to build up your credit since, you may have good enough credit to qualify for a 0% interest credit card. Most of the time, if you have a FICO score over 630, you can qualify for a 0% interest card. If you don’t quite have that score, keep working on building up your credit score until you do. Your efforts will pay off when you get to the point where you can secure a 0% interest credit card.
Going through bankruptcy can be an emotionally, mentally and financially draining process. If you’ve declared bankruptcy in the past, don’t despair. You may still be able to get the credit cards you want — it will just take more time and effort.
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