The good news is that Chapter 7 bankruptcy can clear your debts and give you the breathing room to start over in Florida. The bad (or at least difficult) news is that this is no easy matter. It is highly likely that your credit was in bad shape to start with prior to you filing for Chapter 7. Additionally, bankruptcy can stay on your record for up to 10 years. However, despite these difficulties, according to NerdWallet there are many steps you can take to start fixing your credit right away.

The first is to figure out your current financial situation and seek to build a budget to help you manage it. The goal with this is twofold: to learn how to manage the money that you do have and to create enough breathing room to build up some savings. Do not think that you need to have thousands of dollars on hand to count as “savings”: even having a couple hundred in the bank can help you prevent resorting to payday loans and the like if an emergency pops up.

You may also wish to look into secured credit cards as a way to help rebuild your credit. Traditional credit cards are “unsecured,” meaning that they do not require any collateral. A “secured” credit card can help you build credit since it requires you to pay money up front. That is, you put down $500 on your credit card and that is your credit limit. The strategy is to use the credit card sparingly and pay it off religiously. This will go a long way toward proving to creditors that you can handle credit responsibly.