As a North Carolina resident who recently filed for bankruptcy, you may have done so in an effort to remove some of your financial stresses and give yourself the fresh start you need to move forward. While, for many people, bankruptcy can be an effective method of getting finances back in order, doing so can also have a sizable impact on one’s credit score and ability to obtain credit moving forward.

For these reasons, rebuilding your credit is a necessary step you need to take after filing for bankruptcy. The sooner you can begin doing so, the better. So, what can you do in your efforts to rebuild credit after bankruptcy?

Find a co-signer

You may have difficulty obtaining your own credit card in the aftermath of a bankruptcy filing, but you may be able to begin rebuilding your credit by having someone who trusts you co-sign on a credit card or loan. It is critical, however, that you only take this step if you are absolutely sure you will keep up with payments. Otherwise, you run the risk of hurting your co-signer’s credit, which can damage your existing relationship with this person.

Take out a secured credit card

Obtaining a “secured credit card” may, too, help you begin rebuilding your credit, post-bankruptcy. A secured credit card gives you access to an account you fund yourself, and you can typically only use as much money as you place into the account. While secured credit cards sometimes have high annual fees associated with them, this can still be an effective method of rebuilding your credit.

Rebuilding your credit after a bankruptcy filing takes time, but try to remain patient. You already took the first step toward rebuilding your financial life, and while it may take some time to complete the process, chances are, it will all be worth it in the end.