Getting Credit After a Discharged Bankruptcy

No one wants to go through bankruptcy, but bankruptcy laws exist to protect everyday people. If you get in over your head with debt, bankruptcy is a way to get a fresh financial start. In the wake of bankruptcy, you are sure to feel like you will never be able to repair your credit. Nothing could be further from the truth. Once you have a discharged bankruptcy, which means that you have a Discharge of Debtor document from a court of law, you can start taking steps to repair your credit. Here’s what to do:

Review Your Credit Report – Sure, your credit report is going to be pretty sad following a discharged bankruptcy. Ignorance is not bliss, however, and it is crucial to stay on top of your credit situation from day one. By law, you are entitled to one copy of each of your three credit reports per year. Use the website to do so. If possible, sign up for a plan that allows you to check your credit reports as often as you would like.

Apply for a Secured Credit Card – Immediately following a discharged bankruptcy, there’s no way you are going to qualify for an unsecured credit card. A great alternative is to try secured credit cards instead. With these cards, the amount of money you deposit with the lender equals your credit limit. You can then make changes, and the amounts owed are deducted from your deposit. There’s one hitch, though: The secured cards you use need to report your activity to the credit bureaus, or they will not do you any good. As time goes by, check with the lender to see about having your limit increased.

Apply for Unsecured Credit Cards – After establishing at least some history with your secured credit cards, you should start seeing offers for unsecured credit cards. As exciting as this will be, you need to proceed with caution. If possible, stick with cards that have little or no upfront fees. Due to your damaged credit, you may have to put up with annual fees and other charges for a while, but you may be able to avoid them if you look hard enough. As with secured cards, make sure your unsecured cards are reported to the credit bureaus.

Don’t Carry Balances – Acquiring unsecured credit cards after a discharged bankruptcy is a significant step, but it is also a slippery slope. The last thing you need is to end up in the same dire financial straits again, so don’t carry balances from month to month. Pay your bills on time and in full every month. From time to time, it may be okay to maintain a small balance for the next month, but this should be avoided.

As you move forward, keep checking your credit reports and credit score. Before you know it, your discharged bankruptcy will no longer be holding you back, and you will be ready to start enjoying financial freedom once again.

Make Your Trigger Mail Count

There is a monster out there. The troll under the digital bridge leads to your potential client’s inbox, and it is hungry for your marketing materials. Newsletter software has become intelligent, but so has the anti-spam software. It is very adept at identifying unwanted emails, and terabytes of valuable marketing are lost in the mix.

Escape the clutches of the spam blocker with real mail that bypasses anti-spam filters and gets opened. A trigger mail campaign applies new technologies to traditional marketing. The result is effective to direct mail that potential clients want to open. They open our letters almost every time. This results in a response rate of more than 10%!

There is a great deal of noise out there. This is a significant term in advertising, and breaking through it is the subject of many expensive debates. Our solution is a classic strategy that combats this current roadblock. Put it to use as part of your next mail marketing campaign and see the difference trigger mail it makes.

One of the ways we achieve these results is by using more than one bureau. Our competitors only use one. This helps our mailing list stand head and shoulders above other direct mail campaigns. Of course, our mailers are compelling and interactive, giving clients the option to respond via toll-free call with a real person or our secure website.

Even though our direct trigger mail system avoids the spam filter, it does not forego technology. We transmit every valuable lead to you via email immediately after revving an application. This puts you in direct contact with qualified consumers—your potential customers. If you prefer, your leads can be sent directly to CRM systems, as well.

To ensure our and your company’s good name, our direct trigger mail campaigns and call center adheres to all “Do Not Call” requirements. This is just another way we answer the new-age-old question: what is spam mail, and how do we manage it. It is also a way we set our marketing materials apart from anti-spam software.

Inform Consumers Through Targeted Direct Mail

Independent and franchise dealers, buy here, pay here dealers, and auto financiers can benefit from sending targeted direct mail to consumers with imperfect credit. A targeted direct mail campaign involves distributing focused messages to consumers who are likely to purchase a vehicle through the subprime market.

What a Prospective Consumer Needs A prospective consumer could have a variety of credit problems, such as improving their credit after bankruptcy, a car repossession, little credit history, or no credit history. A subprime loan helps a consumer begin building credit even if the interest rate is not as low as one would get with a higher FICO score.

What Information Works To market effectively through targeted direct mail, dealers and lenders should offer consumers valuable tips. They should be able to use them even if they do not do business with you. Each communication helps consumers become more aware of your brand, possibly turning them into future leads.

What to Say in Targeted Direct Mail Here are sample tips to offer your prospective subprime borrowers through the mail:

Make a pre-credit application. A consumer with poor credit or no credit can get a copy of a free credit report online and work with a lender or car dealership representative to determine what kinds of auto loan terms he might obtain.

Ask about a possible loan amount. Regardless of their credit situation, the issue will be how high the monthly payment is for many consumers. The total amount of a vehicle purchase financed over 3 to 6 years will significantly influence the size of the monthly payment.

Explore interest rates. A loan amount helps estimate a car payment, but the deciding factor is the interest rate. A higher interest rate can make a $300 payment soar to more than $400 per month.

Encourage borrowers not to commit to a payment that’s beyond their budget. This would exacerbate their existing credit problems.

Targeted direct mail marketing is a proven way to communicate passively with subprime consumers. If you use targeted direct mail to reach the auto market, strive for a clear and consistent message. Consumers want helpful information without a particular slant they can use when making financial decisions, or they will throw your message in the trash.

Getting an Auto Loan After Bankruptcy

If you are recently discharged from a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may initially believe that getting a new (or “new to you”) vehicle with any financing is out of your reach. While, naturally, getting an auto loan after bankruptcy may present a few more challenges than an A-paper borrower, it is still a viable option that you will want to approach with care.

People Need Cars

Often, particularly for those in Chapter 13, the bankruptcy terms can span from three to five years. This means that many people will need to purchase a vehicle as soon as the discharge is settled. Alternatively, possibly even earlier. While there may be a humbling aspect to negotiating terms on an auto loan after bankruptcy, you have paid your debt and still deserve a fair deal—even though you may not get the best deal. This means you will want to shop around and explore various options at the dealership and other sources. For instance, credit unions will often extend an auto loan after bankruptcy under the right conditions. Also, buy here pay here outlets can often negotiate a decent rate when called upon to do so. You do not have to settle for the first deal that is extended.

Bankruptcy is Not Uncommon

Given the current overall economic climate, as well as individual communities that have been hard hit, auto dealerships and financial institutions are becoming more and more interested in finding ways to finance an auto loan after bankruptcy. No longer is bankruptcy seen only for the irresponsible; many families have faced insurmountable hardships that were only resolved through the court safety net. To this end, establishing good credit and getting vehicle financing is beneficial in the long run.

What You Can Do

Like many things in life, time and good behavior can pay off. Getting an auto loan after bankruptcy is often one of the best things you can do to begin to rebuild your credit. First, an auto loan comes with collateral—the vehicle. This means there is a way, one way or another, to get financed. Even if you have to pay the higher interest rates, you will be on your way to improving your credit and can explore refinancing as you gain on-time payments with the loan.

Getting an auto loan after bankruptcy may be a bit more challenging, but you are in great shape, and you should look at this as a critical step in your road to economic recovery

Attract More Qualified Sub-Prime Buyers with Effective Direct Mail Marketing

Attracting the right sub-prime consumers can make a world of difference in running a car dealership. Given today’s lackluster economy and job market, that is truer now than ever. Without reaching out to and getting responses from people with less-than-perfect credit, the odds of getting ahead are slim to none. Of the many ways to generate viable leads and prospects, direct mail marketing is among the most effective.

Zero in on Viable Sub-Prime Prospects

To be effective, direct mail marketing must be geared toward a specific demographic. Therefore, the first step in the process is identifying local consumers who have sub-prime credit. This can be achieved by effectively using demographic information, which is readily available from various sources. You can always pull the data yourself, but it is more natural and practical to include it in whatever direct mail marketing service you choose. With the correct list of prospects in place, your direct mail marketing efforts will be off to a great start.

Get Inside Your Target Buyer’s Head

When creating a piece of direct mail for marketing purposes, you need to get inside your ideal customer’s head. This is much easier said than done. What kinds of things will prompt a subprime buyer to open a piece of mail? Odds are you have little or no idea. Why should you? You run an auto dealership; you are not a marketing guru. By investing in effective direct mail marketing services, you can leave this crucial step to the professionals. They know that certain things increase response rates significantly. For instance, allowing an embossed plastic card to peek out of the window of an envelope brings to mind credit cards, which many sub-prime consumers do not qualify for. The idea that they might be approved for a line of credit to buy a new car is often enough to get them to do the most important thing of all: open the letter and read it.

Drum Up New Business with First-Rate Mail Marketing Why stuff envelopes full of letters and marketing pieces that are written in a hit-or-miss fashion? By opting for professional mail marketing services, you are far more likely to enjoy a considerable return on your investment. Indeed, professionally created pieces result in two to 10 times as many responses. Imagine what that could mean for your business! To get ahead, sign up for these services as soon as possible.