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Scura, Wigfield, Heyer, Stevens & Cammarota Blog

Unsecured vs. Secured Credit Cards: What is the Difference?

You got your credit report in, and it is not looking too great for your score. Due to a myriad of unfulfilled financial commitments, your credit score is too low to take out new loans. For now, you can watch your dreams of moving out of your apartment and into a house drift off the harbor and into the sea. You need to find a way to raise your score, but you cannot take out new loans and you are being denied credit cards left and right. It feels as if your bad credit score has anchored you under the sea. You sink into dark depths, your last spark of hope drowned out.

Then, the light: secured credit cards.

If you need to raise your credit score, but you are denied credit cards due to low credit, you might want to consider getting a secured credit card to elevate your credit score. This might be daunting. What makes one sort of credit card “secured” while another one is unsecured? Is there a trick that might undermine your financial stability? Should you be worried?

Unsecured and Secured credit cards are similar in that both allow you to buy items on credit, both require you to pay back past dues, and, by consistently paying off credit on your card, your Credit Score can be elevated. However, the difference between unsecured and secured credit cards ultimately amount to one word: collateral. If you do not pay your credit off, creditors will find a way to get their money from you – one way or another.

10 Ways to Improve Credit After Bankruptcy in NJ

It is not an understatement to say that filing for bankruptcy can impact your credit score. Many fear the intense impact such a filing can have on their score, fearing apocalyptic repercussions of such a deal. Many of these anxieties are exaggerated responses, since very often bankruptcy can have a positive impact on those who need relief most. Filing for bankruptcy can result in score improvement between two months and one year of filing if you had serious delinquencies on debts prior. However, those with perfect credit scores or those whose debts primarily that do not show up on New Jersey credit reports, such as medical bills, will often see a significant drop in their credit score after filing for bankruptcy.

How Will NJ Bankruptcy Affect My Credit Score?

A lot of uncertainty comes when filing for bankruptcy. You set out in life with dreams of financial prosperity, only to need bankruptcy relief when life gets in the way. There are several anxieties and fears that will emerge and overwhelm you when you as an individual initially file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Relief. Even though you know this is the best decision for you in the current moment, you cannot help but think of the future and what negative ramifications might sprout from his decision.

One of the most common concerns is that filing for bankruptcy will damage or decrease your credit score. Will declaring bankruptcy bring your credit score down far enough to the point where you will be denied loans and mortgages? What other elements of your life will this impact? While bankruptcy will unavoidably impact your credit score, many do not know in which ways it will be affected. The reality, however, is far less frightening than whatever imagined apocalyptic scenario you imagined. While it might take years to purge a bankruptcy record from your credit history, the reality is you can raise your credit score to a solid level within months of your filing.

Understanding your FICO and CreditWise Credit Scores

woman checking credit scores

All consumers should be aware of their credit score by checking their credit report.  Amongst other benefits, periodically checking your score ensures that fraudulent activity is timely recognized and can also help in planning for indebtedness from a car loan, mortgage, or student loan.  Most online credit cards or banks allow the account owner to obtain their credit score for free.  Some credit card companies and banking institutions use different credit score calculating models such as FICO or Creditwise.  If your credit card company or bank does not offer this free service, a free credit report can be obtained at AnnualCreditReport.com.  No matter which direction a consumer goes in, they should always stay on top of their credit status.  

Can You Get Credit After Filing Bankruptcy?

A bankruptcy can last on your credit for up to ten years after the filing, but it does not mean that you cannot get credit in those ten years. It may be harder to get credit initially after the bankruptcy, but you can get credit again and there are ways to rebuild your credit more quickly.

Can a Homeowner Own a Home Again After Foreclosure in New Jersey?


Losing a home in any situation is a tragic event for a homeowner in New Jersey. If financial troubles have led to the foreclosure of a home, many homeowners exhaust their efforts to keep their home. Filing for bankruptcy might be able to halt or prolong the process. However, in some cases a homeowner may still end up losing his or her home. This leaves the homeowner pondering many questions such as ways to rebuild his or her credit or improve his or her financial health. Additionally he or she may wonder if his or her days of owning a home are forever over.

How to Rebuild Your Credit Score After Filing for Bankruptcy

Two of the most common questions I receive from individuals contemplating filing for bankruptcy are:

How long will the bankruptcy filing remain on my credit report; and

What can I do to rebuild my credit after receiving a bankruptcy discharge? 

New Jersey Debt Relief Lawyers Explain Regaining Control of Credit Card Debt


It is not uncommon for New Jersey residents to have more than a few credit cards in their wallet. Moreover, it is likely that these credit cards have a balance on them. While it is not entirely bad to carry a small balance on a credit card, carrying thousands of dollars of debt on a credit card could be problematic. Additionally, consumer debt is often a type of debt that can easily get out of control. Because of that, t is important that credit card holders understand how they can regain control of this debt and even initiate debt relief options.

Co-Signers of Loans and Bankruptcy in New Jersey


It is not uncommon for residents in New Jersey and other states across the nation to obtain a loan to help fund a major purchase. Whether it is a home, a vehicle, their education or a business venture, a loan is very helpful. Although useful, these loans could be considered a major debt and could lead to financial troubles if the individual does not take proper actions to guard against such liabilities. Even when an individual takes the necessary steps to protect themselves, financial problems, such as unemployment, could occur. This could cause the individual to consider filing for bankruptcy.

Co-Signing a Loan

When it comes to obtaining a loan, many seek a co-signer to ensure they obtain the loan. This could lead to some concerns for the co-signer, especially if the owner of the loan decides to file for personal bankruptcy. For many co-signers, they question whether any protections will be extended to them if the holder of the loan they co-signed for files for bankruptcy.

Getting Credit Cards During a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy


Many people who have filed a bankruptcy may be surprised to receive solicitation during their bankruptcy for new credit cards. They may think that because they filed a bankruptcy, they will have difficult time obtaining any type of credit.

Credit Cards and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If you have filed a Chapter 7, you may find it surprisingly easy to apply for some credit cards. They may have a restricted balance and may charge very high interest rates, but then may be available.

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