What You Can Expect
After a bankruptcy, you can expect your credit score to be well below 640. Credit scores can range anywhere from 300 to 850, with anything above 700 considered low risk. To begin the process of improving your credit score, check your credit report after the bankruptcy falls off. The closer to 300 it is, the more work you will have to do to approach 700. Actively work to boost your score for six months, then assess how much it has improved. Use that figure to guide your expectations for future improvement. For example, if you find that your score increased 30 points after six months of diligent debt management, you might set a goal of increasing it another 30 points in the next six months. This can give you a target towards which to work, although the exact improvement in any given period is never guaranteed.
How Long Does A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Stay On Your Credit Report
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy stays on your credit reports for up to seven years. Unlike Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves creating a three- to five-year repayment plan for some or all of your debts. After you complete the repayment plan, debts included in the plan are discharged.
If some of your discharged debts were delinquent before filing for this type of bankruptcy, it would fall off your credit report seven years from the date of delinquency. All other discharged debts will fall off of your report at the same time your Chapter 13 bankruptcy falls off.
Review Your Credit Reports
Monitoring your credit report is a good practice because it can help you catch and fix credit reporting errors. After going through bankruptcy, you should review your credit reports from all three credit bureausExperian, Equifax and Transunion. Due to Covid-19, you can view your credit reports for free weekly through April 20, 2022 by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com.
While reviewing your reports, check to see if all accounts that were discharged after completing bankruptcy are listed on your account with a zero balance and indicate that theyve been discharged because of it. Also, make sure that each account listed belongs to you and shows the correct payment status and open and closed dates.
If you spot an error while reviewing your credit reports, dispute it with each credit bureau that includes it by sending a dispute letter by mail, filing an online dispute or contacting the reporting agency by phone.
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Are There Any Employment Restrictions
The Bankruptcy Act 1966 does not impose any restrictions on employment, either during or after bankruptcy. However some trades or professions may impose restrictions.
We recommend you contact the relevant agency or association to see if your bankruptcy will impact your employment. Common professions that bankruptcy may affect are listed under employment restrictions.
How Long Does Bankruptcy Take To Fall Off Your Credit Report
How long a bankruptcy takes to fall off your credit report depends on the type of bankruptcy that you filed. If you filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it takes 10 years for it to fall off your credit report. However, if you filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it takes seven years from the date you filed for bankruptcy for the bankruptcy to fall off your credit report.
After waiting for 7 to 10 years, depending on the type of bankruptcy that you filed, the bankruptcy should be automatically removed from your credit report. If for any reason the bankruptcy remains on your credit report for longer, you should dispute it through the credit reporting bureaus to have it removed.
That said, if not enough time has passed since youve filed for bankruptcy, the credit reporting bureaus will refuse to remove it. They will remove it only if the prescribed time has passed or if there are any inaccuracies on your credit report.
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How Bankruptcy Affects Your Score
Bankruptcy is definitely a black mark on your credit history. However, what kind of affect it will have depends on what your credit was like prior to filing. If you were struggling with excessive debt, late payments, and missed payments for a long time, chances are good that your credit is pretty bad. Filing for bankruptcy can actually improve your score in cases like that because it puts a stop to those other negatives.
Typically, bankruptcy stays on your credit report for seven to 10 years. However, it tends to fall into the background as time goes on, having less and less impact.
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Will Your Credit Score Stay Poor Until Your Bankruptcy Is Removed From Your Credit Report
One common misconception is that your score will remain poor during the duration the bankruptcy is on your credit report. This is not true at all. In fact, you can start rebuilding your credit after your debt is discharged. According to bankruptcy experts, there is even a chance that your score will go above 700 after four to five years.
Checking A Credit Report For Accuracy
It’s prudent to review your credit report from time to time, even if you aren’t considering bankruptcy. One way to check is by taking advantage of the free copy from each of the three major credit bureausExperian, TransUnion, and Equifaxthat you’re entitled to once per year at no cost. The website for ordering your credit reports is www.annualcreditreport.com.
It’s important to review all three carefully because not all creditors report to all three agencies. A few months after filing your bankruptcy, each of your creditors should notate that the account was included in bankruptcy. If not, it’s a good idea to have that corrected because any line item that appears open but unpaid could lead a potential lender to believe that you’re still responsible for paying that debt.
Your credit report should also identify whether your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case was discharged or dismissed. A successful bankruptcy that leads to a discharge has a different effect on a potential lender’s decision to grant you credit than if the bankruptcy had been dismissed, leaving your account liability intact.
It’s a good idea to address any errors you see as soon possible. You can do this by disputing the item, either through the credit bureau’s website or by sending a letter directly.
Contact An Experienced North Carolina Bankruptcy Attorney
If you are dealing with overwhelming debt, schedule a free consultation today with our compassionate consumer bankruptcy attorneys to discuss your options. At Sasser Law, youll work directly with a board-certified bankruptcy attorney. We pride ourselves on giving straightforward and honest legal advice.
The Sasser Law Firm serves individuals and businesses throughout North Carolina, including in Wake, Harnett, Johnston, Durham, Orange, Granville, Vance, Franklin, Warren, Nash, Lee, Chatham, and Moore counties.
This post was originally published in October 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in August 2021.
Here’s How Bankruptcies Impact Your Credit Score
While bankruptcies on your credit report will always get factored into your credit score for as long as they are on there, the impact on your score lessens with each year that passes. So, you may see a dramatic drop in your score in the first month immediately following your bankruptcy filing, but by the end of the first year it could have less weight, and certainly less in later years compared to year one.
Your own credit profile will also play a part in how much your credit score is affected when you declare bankruptcy. Similar to how having a higher credit score can ding your more points if you miss a credit card payment, so, too, is the case if you file for bankruptcy. According to FICO, someone with good credit may experience a bigger drop in their score when a bankruptcy appears on their report than someone with an already poor credit score.
Estimates we found online from places like Debt.org show how people with different credit scores would be impacted by a bankruptcy filing. Someone with a credit score of 780 or above would be dinged between 200 and 240 points, while someone with a 680 score would lose 130 to 150 points.
Whatever the case, no one really benefits from filing for bankruptcy. It’s an option of last resort that sometimes even those with good credit find themselves making.
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How Do Bankruptcies Work
The type of bankruptcy that you qualify for will determine how your debts are paid back and how much time you have to do so. Income is a primary factor in deciding to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
For example, when filing for Chapter 7, you must meet the appropriate income requirements and pass The Chapter 7 Means Test. This type of bankruptcy involves liquidation of assets to pay back a portion of the debt. On the other hand, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a reorganization of assets. The debtor has enough income to repay a pre-set amount via monthly payments.
Rebuilding Credit After Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is the single most negative thing that can happen to your credit history, so filing for bankruptcy should always be considered a last resort. If you are struggling to make your debt payments, there may be other options you can explore first, such as or debt consolidation.
For instance, if your credit is good enough to qualify for a low-interest loan or credit card, consolidating your balances into one account can help you lower the overall amount of your payments each month and make it possible for you to continue meeting your obligations without filing for bankruptcy. However, you should be wary of any debt consolidation or debt management companies that encourage you to miss payments in order to qualify for debt settlement with your lenders. Also, you should know that while settling a debt for less than the full balance owed is better than not paying it at all, a settlement is considered negative and will likely hurt credit scores, even if you’ve never made a late payment on the account.
Even with the best intentions, sometimes bankruptcy is necessary. If you are trying to rebuild your credit after bankruptcy, here are some steps you can take:
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A Fresh Start After Bankruptcy
Mei Ling and Matt are a married couple who rent a flat in Gosford NSW. Both worked full time until two years ago when Matt lost his job. Mei Ling now works part time earning less than $40,000 per year.
For two years they tried to survive on Mei Lings wage, struggling to make repayments on their overdue credit cards and loans. They ended up with unsecured debts of over $65,000.
The only assets they owned were a car worth $5,000 and general household goods .
The pressure from their creditors became too much to handle. Debt collectors and process servers were constantly calling on them. Their electricity was turned off a few times and they stopped answering phone calls because it always seemed to be bad news. Matts health was also suffering and he was treated for depression. Most nights Mei Ling would end up in tears thinking about their situation.
They finally decided to see a financial counsellor. There was no charge for this service. The financial counsellor looked through their finances and suggested they consider filing for bankruptcy.
Matt and Mei Ling went home and looked in detail at the AFSA website. They read all about their options and the consequences of bankruptcy. The AFSA website showed that they would be able to keep their car because it was worth less than the set amount. They read they could also keep their household goods. In the end, they decided that bankruptcy would be the best option for them.
How Long Does Debt Stay On Your Credit Report
How long a collection stays on your credit report depends on the type of loan you have. Derogatory items may stay on your credit reports for seven to 10 years or more, according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. But heres the good news: As those items age, negative items have less of an impact on your credit scores.
Heres how long you can expect derogatory marks to stay on your credit reports:
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Will A High Credit Score Help You During A Bankruptcy
Myth: A clean credit historyone with no late payments or other issuesand a high credit score means youll be less impacted by a bankruptcy.
The truth: Bankruptcy will have a huge negative impact on your credit, and a previously positive payment history doesnt change that. In fact, if you have a higher score, you could stand to lose more than if you already have a low score.
A bankruptcy also temporarily wipes out all the goodwill you might have developed with your timely payments. Some lenders may have rules about offering credit when a recent bankruptcy shows up on your credit historyno matter how good your score used to be.
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So How Can A Bankruptcy Filing Possibly Help My Credit Rating
Think of your credit report like a timeline that dips down when negative information is reported and steadily goes up with every on-time payment you make. After a while, the bankruptcy filing will be nothing more than a blip in your timeline.
Remember, your credit history is â¦ well â¦ history. What you do to improve your personal finances today matters more than what you did last year! Letâs take a look at some of the things you can do to build good credit after a bankruptcy filing.
How Long Does Bankruptcy Stay On A Credit Report
The most common type of bankruptcy about 70% of those filed each year is Chapter 7 bankruptcy and it remains on your credit report for 10 years. The other type, Chapter 13 bankruptcy, clears from your credit report after seven years.
Chapter 7 lasts longer on your record because, after you liquidate assets and pay what you can, the rest of the debt is written off. Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves a plan to continue paying off at least part of your debt in three to five years, so it leaves your credit report sooner.
Getting the bankruptcy removed from the credit report early wont happen simply because you dont want it there. It requires proving that it didnt belong there in the first place, meaning that it is the result of identity theft or a clerical mistake that you can prove to be the case.
If you find a fraudulent bankruptcy on your record, you need to challenge it with all three credit bureaus Equifax, TransUnion and Experian by filing a . The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that the agencies investigate and resolve your dispute within 30 days. To maintain evidence supporting the start of that 30-day deadline, informing the agencies by certified mail is recommended. The credit bureaus will notify you of their findings.
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Path To Credit Recovery
If you are avoiding talking to a bankruptcy trustee because you are concerned about how your credit will be affected, its important to consider two factors:
If debt is holding you back from rebuilding your credit, talk with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee about how to eliminate your debt. We provide free, no-obligations consultations during which we will conduct a full debt assessment and provide you with options to get out of debt so you can build a stronger financial future.