Consider Applying For A Secured Credit Card
After filing for bankruptcy, its unlikely that you will qualify for a traditional credit card. However, you may qualify for a secured credit card. A secured credit card is a credit card that requires a security depositthis deposit establishes your credit limit.
As you repay your balance, the credit card issuer usually reports your payments to the three credit bureaus. Repaying your balance on time can help you build credit. Once you cancel the card, a credit card provider typically issues you a refund for your deposit.
When shopping for secured credit cards, compare annual fees, minimum deposit amounts and interest rates to secure the best deal.
It Doesnt Make It Easier Thats For Sure
How does bankruptcy affect you and your credit? For starters, it can impact your more severely than any other single financial event. While not all bankruptcies actually cause a big drop in your scorein fact, it is theoretically possible that your credit score could rise following a bankruptcyany negative effect makes it more challenging to acquire credit in the future.
Filing for bankruptcy affects you in another way by appearing on your for years afterward, providing a big warning sign to potential lenders about a troubled payment history. Some creditors immediately deny an application when a bankruptcy is listed on a credit report.
Bankruptcy May Help Relieve Your Debt Obligations But It Will Impact Your Credit For Years
Bankruptcy is a special legal proceeding you can use to reorganize or get rid of your debt, depending on your financial situation. Bankruptcy can be helpful if youre overwhelmed with financial commitments, but it could also negatively affect your credit. A bankruptcy will generally stay on your reports for up to 10 years from the date you file.
I refer to bankruptcy as kind of Armageddon on someones , says Freddie Huynh, vice president of data optimization for Freedom Debt Relief.
The good news is your credit can gradually heal if you take the right steps. Heres what can happen to your credit reports when you file for bankruptcy.
Tips For Credit Rebuilding
Ironically, the only way to fix your credit score is to start borrowing money again. If you are in a consumer proposal, think carefully about the purpose of this process, and how to avoid new problems with your credit. Even though it feels good to be offered new credit, or be accepted for a new card, be sure not to overextend your ability to make regular payments. Go slowly. You do not need to borrow large amounts to rebuild your credit. Making all your payments on time is the key.; In addition, pay attention to the interest rates and fees charged on credit products you apply for as there are some lenders who may not have your best interests in mind.
Here are some tips for rebuilding your credit.
Build An Emergency Fund
Because much of your debt will likely be eliminated following a bankruptcy, its an ideal time to start building up your savings. By putting a portion of your income into a savings account or cutting back on nonessential subscription services or memberships, you avoid having to apply for loans which could put you back into debt if youre unable to keep up with the high interest rates that come along with bad credit.
Why this matters: Without an emergency reserve, it can be easy to fall into the same debt pitfalls that caused the bankruptcy.
How to get started: After your debt payments are removed as part of the bankruptcy process, make sure to create a budget based on your income and remaining expenses. Include building an emergency fund as part of your new budget.
Common Myths About How Bankruptcy Affects Credit
- Print icon
- Resize icon
Filing for bankruptcy is devastating to your credit and can cause your credit score to plummet more than 200 points. But for people in dire straits, bankruptcy is a last resort that can help them liquidate assets, discard or pay off debts, and get some financial relief.
If youre considering bankruptcy, you need to understand how it will affect your credit. This involves clearing up some common misconceptions about how bankruptcy affects your credit.
Myth No. 1:;If you dont have negative information on your credit report before bankruptcy, you will have a higher postbankruptcy credit score than if your report contained negative information before filing.
The Truth:;Positive payment history and a lack of negative information does very little to minimize the impact of a bankruptcy on your credit score. The presence of a bankruptcy, and the length of time the bankruptcy has been on your report, are the strongest determining factors
Myth No. 2:;All bankruptcy information stays on your credit report for 10 years, without exception.
The Truth:;Only the public record of a chapter 7 bankruptcy lasts for 10 years. All other bankruptcy references remain on your credit report for seven years, including:
- Trade lines that state account included in bankruptcy
- Third-party collection debts, judgments and tax liens discharged through bankruptcy
- Chapter 13 public record items
Once the above items start disappearing, you may see a bigger boost in your credit score.
How Long Will Bankruptcy Affect My Credit File
Your bankruptcy will appear on your credit report for six years, or until you’re discharged if this takes longer. Lenders look at your credit profile when you apply for credit, so you’ll probably struggle to borrow money while bankrupt. Whatâs more, you must tell lenders about your bankruptcy when applying to borrow over £500. Employers and landlords may ask to look at your credit information before employing you or letting you rent property.
If you do find someone who’ll lend money to you, they may charge you a higher interest rate as they’ll see you as a high-risk customer. Even after your bankruptcy has been cleared from your profile, lenders can ask if youâve ever been bankrupt .
You can see what’s on your credit profile by getting your Experian Credit Report.
Don’t Miss: When Do Credit Cards Report Late Payments
Bankruptcy Affects High Credit Scores More Than Low Credit Scores
|Note: Scores do not go lower than 300
You will likely drop to a poor credit score no matter what score you started with. Your credit history already shows you filed for bankruptcy, but credit bureaus want to ensure you take steps to improve your bad credit before you take on more debt and new credit.
The sliding scale system will generally knock your credit points however much it takes to show you have poor credit. Your score may barely change if you already have bad credit . It is not common to see credit scores lower than 500 even after a bankruptcy filing.
Bankruptcys Effect On Your Credit Score
First of all, what is a FICO credit score?; This score is an indicator of your personal credit worthiness that is calculated by one of three credit reporting agencies in the United States.;These agencies give you a score the higher, the better based on your past behavior with credit, your likelihood of paying back debt promptly, and your years of experience with handling consumer debt.;Typically, banks, mortgage lenders and other financial institutions will pull your credit score when making a decision about whether to lend you money for a house or car or whether to approve you for a credit card.;Bankruptcy does affect your credit score.
You are allowed free access to one copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of these three credit reporting agencies.
How Long Will Bankruptcy Show Up On My Credit Report
Your credit report will show that you filed for bankruptcy for at least seven or ten years, depending on the type of bankruptcy you file. Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stay on your record for ten years, while Chapter 13 will stay on the record for seven years.
If you’re trying to apply for a loan or get approved for a lease, there are some institutions that won’t approve someone with bankruptcy at all. Dont be discouraged; there are ways to get what you need. For example, having a co-signer on a loan or lease may be all that is required for approval.
Remember, although your bankruptcy will appear on your credit report for years following your discharge, you can start rebuilding your credit right away.
Can I Remove A Bankruptcy From My Credit Report On My Own
It is possible to pursue removing a bankruptcy from your credit report on your own, and some people have managed to do so. However, it is a time-consuming, labor-intensive process that many people find complicated, confusing, and frustrating.
We encourage you to learn as much as you can about credit report disputes and credit repair processes, then count the real cost of DIY credit repair before committing to handling this important task on your own.
People who have needed to remove a bankruptcy from their credit reports have achieved success by working with a provider like Lexington Law Firm. If other questionable negative items are affecting your credit report and score, we can help you challenge those as well.
Contact us today for a free personalized credit report consultation to find out how we can help you meet your credit goals.
Reviewed by Vincent R. Mayr, Supervising Attorney of Bankruptcies at Lexington Law. by Lexington Law.
How Does A Low Credit Score Affect Me
You may think that your credit rating is a theoretical number that has no impact on your everyday lifebut that’s not quite true. Lenders and other creditors use your credit score to determine your creditworthiness. The lower your score, the less likely you are to obtain credit, which could be anything from a store credit card to a personal loan or mortgage. It may even hurt your ability to obtain a job if your potential employer seeks permission to check your credit file.
Should I Declare Bankruptcy
Before you choose to declare bankruptcy, take a closer look at your debts. Determine which debts could possibly be discharged via bankruptcy. Think about a realistic repayment timeline with your current strategy. Look into getting very serious about repaying your debt through either the avalanche or snowball method.;
If repaying your debt will take years or decades, you should consult with a financial professional or bankruptcy attorney. They may be able to help you determine whether or not bankruptcy is a good idea for you.;
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.
Is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Better For My Credit Than Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
According to FICO , whether you file for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy makes no difference to your credit scores. But it’s possible that a potential creditor viewing your credit report might look upon one type of bankruptcy more favorably than another. For example, some creditors might view someone who files for Chapter 13, in which you repay some or all of your debts over a three- to five-year period, as more responsible, and thus a better credit risk, than someone who files for Chapter 7.
How Much Will Your Credit Score Drop
A bankruptcy case filing often results in a drop in your credit score. But how much? There is no set formula to answer this question, as many variables come into play. A lot depends on what your score was, to begin with.
Most people who file bankruptcy have already damaged their credit score. A credit score below 580 is considered very poor. If you declare bankruptcy with a 500 credit score, you’re not going to drop too much farther. However, if you’ve managed to keep your credit score above 700 before bankruptcy you can expect a 200 or greater drop.
Regardless of what your score was at the start, most people who file for bankruptcy end up having similarly low FICO scores after filing. After a discharge of debt has been issued by the Court, your credit score will begin to increase, especially if the filer continues to pay on secured debt.
How Long Do Bankruptcies Impact Your Credit Scores
Since your credit score is based on the information listed on your credit reports, the bankruptcy will impact your score until it is removed. This means a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will impact your score for up to 10 years while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will impact your score for up to seven years. However, the impact of both types of bankruptcies on your credit score will lessen over time. Plus, If you practice good credit habits, you could see your score recover faster.
Also, how much your credit score decreases depends on how high your score was before filing for bankruptcy. If you had a good to excellent score before filing, this likely means your credit score will drop more than someone who already had a bad credit score.
Do Your Homework On Credit Card Offers
One thing that puzzles many people who file bankruptcy is that they receive multiple credit card offers right after their bankruptcy is completed. Youd think that a fresh bankruptcy would be a strong deterrent to lenders.
However, the banks know you wont be able to file again for several years, so you are actually a better risk than you were before. Just make sure to read the fine print on any new debt you apply for, as many companies intentionally prey on people who recently filed bankruptcy by offering new lines of credit stuffed with fees, minimum payments, and extremely high interest rates.
Over time, reports from these debts will start to raise your credit score, provided you use credit cards and rewards wisely by paying by the due date and in full every month. Initially, the only lenders to extend you credit will probably be small banks and credit unions. But, within a few years, you may be able to get approved with the national banks, which is important because big names on a credit report can potentially sway future credit decisions like a home mortgage in your favor.
The passage of time alone will increase your score. Plus, as long as your report is filled with nothing but A+ grades, you should have a decent credit score within a few years, and even a good score by the time the bankruptcy drops off your report.
Fixing Your Credit Score After Bankruptcy
No matter what your score was prior to filing for bankruptcy, you can raise it back up with smart credit moves. The first step is getting a credit card. It wont be easy after a bankruptcy, but some cards are easier to get than others. Consider a department store card, a secured card, or a card specifically for people with poor credit. Watch out for the fees. Some lenders offer subprime cards with extremely high interest rates and fees that send people straight back into debt.
Use the card wisely. Dont exceed 25% of your credit limit and pay the card off in full every month. When youve built up some good credit, youll be able to get a credit card with more favorable terms. If you borrow to purchase a car or a home, make those payments in full and on time. You can boost your score back up into the 700s in just a handful of years.
Do You Qualify For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy you:
Must pass the means test, which looks at your income, assets and expenses.
Cannot have filed a bankruptcy petition in the previous 180 days that was dismissed because you failed to appear in court or comply with court orders, or you voluntarily dismissed your own filing because creditors sought court relief to recover property they had a lien on.
Can I Rebuild My Credit After Bankruptcy
You can rebuild your credit after bankruptcy, but its a long process. Your options will be limited at the start, but it is key to not get discouraged. As time goes on, if you consistently pursue a credit rebuilding strategy, your reports and scores can improve.
Here are some recommendations to start with:
- Understand the cause: Identify, accept, and learn from the root causes of your bankruptcy so you wont find yourself in the same position down the road.
- Stick to a budget: Re-evaluate your finances and see where you can cut expenses and save more money if you can.
- Start establishing a new credit history: No, this does not mean using an alias . It means starting fresh with whatever credit you can obtain.
This may mean settling for an extremely high-interest rate, taking on a co-signer, depositing cash into a secured credit card, or other options that have been designed specifically to help you re-establish a positive credit record.
Use these credit options sparingly and never put more on a card than you can pay off by the end of the month so your credit improves over time.