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How long does bankruptcy stay on your credit report?

It will take years for bankruptcy to fall off your credit report, but you can still repair your credit.

A bankruptcy will remain on your credit reports for seven to 10 years, depending on how it was filed. The good news is that it won’t follow you forever.

How long does bankruptcy stay on my credit report?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on your credit reports for up to 10 years starting on the date you filed. It’s also known as the liquidation bankruptcy.

Chapter 13, or the repayment or reorganization bankruptcy, can remain on your credit report for up to seven years — also starting on the day you filed. But most Chapter 13 repayment plans are for three to five years, so by the time you’re discharged, or you’ve completed it, it’s nearly time for all accounts associated with it and the bankruptcy itself to fall off your credit reports.

The good news is that bankruptcy doesn’t follow you around forever — but the bad news is that it takes years to completely disappear. Accounts associated with your bankruptcy will disappear after seven years, but the report of the bankruptcy itself will remain for up to 10 years since that information is from the Bankruptcy Court public records.

How do I get bankruptcy removed from my credit reports?

You can’t remove accurate reporting of a bankruptcy from your credit reports. The credit bureaus receive bankruptcy information from the Bankruptcy Court public records.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) protects your information collected by consumer reporting agencies, such as credit bureaus, and they’re obligated to report correct information. If the bankruptcy reporting is correct, it will remain on your credit report for seven to 10 years.

How to repair credit during and after bankruptcy

It can take a while for your credit score to recover after bankruptcy. Over time, the impact of a bankruptcy on your credit score will decrease. Also, the more accounts you included in your bankruptcy, the bigger the impact on your credit score, according to FICO.

Here are six tactics you can use to start repairing your credit score after bankruptcy:

  1. Avoid applying for new credit. Unless it’s an emergency or a necessity, avoid applying for new credit if you can help it and high-interest debt such as credit cards, personal loans or payday loans. A new credit application can result in a hard credit pull, which can lower your credit score even further.
  2. Pay everything on time. Payment history is the most important factor in your FICO credit score, so staying on top of all your expenses is vital to credit repair. Even if a bill’s on-time payments aren’t reported to the credit bureaus, there’s still a chance that a late or missed payment is reported.
  3. Keep credit card balances low. Keeping your credit utilization ratio below 30% is a good way to keep your credit score healthy. Owing more than 30% of your total credit limit is a sign you’re overextended financially, so it can result in a lower credit score.
  4. Regularly review your credit reports. You can get free, weely copies of your credit reports from all three credit bureaus. Review them on a regular basis for signs of identity theft, correct any errors that may be harming your credit, and know that your bankruptcy filing is removed from your reports when it’s supposed to.
  5. Look to credit-building products. Consider credit-building loans, debit-credit cards or secured credit cards. These borrowing methods are considered safer than unsecured debt, and are often easier to qualify for.
  6. Become an authorized user. If someone you know is willing, you can ask them to add you as an authorized user on their credit card.

Compare credit-building cards

Narrow down top credit-building cards by fees, APR and benefits. For a better comparison, you can also select the Compare box on multiple options to see benefits side by side.

Name Product Fee Minimum deposit to open Requirements Credit Bureaus Offer
Not rated yet
From $4.99 per month
Must be at least 18 years old and a US resident with a valid Social Security number.
Equifax, Experian
Current Credit Building Card
Finder Rating: 4.5 / 5: ★★★★★
Current Credit Building Card
$0 per month
Subject to approval, with no credit check involved.
Equifax, Experian,TransUnion
Get a $50 referral bonus by inviting your friends to join Current. Once the person receives the invite link and makes qualifying deposits of at least $200 within 45 days of opening the account, you and the referred friend each earn $50.
Not rated yet
From $20 per month
Requires an existing bank account.
Equifax, Experian
Cleo Credit Builder Card
$14.99 per month
You’ll need to choose the Cleo Builder plan and apply for the card separately.
Equifax, Experian,TransUnion
Kikoff Credit+ Cash Card
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Kikoff Credit+ Cash Card
$0 per year
Must have a Kikoff Account
Equifax, Experian,TransUnion

Bottom line

Filing for bankruptcy is the first step in organizing your finances, and credit repair after it can take time. During the bankruptcy process, your credit score may have been the least of your worries.

Soon after you’re discharged, lenders may be wary to extend you new credit due to the filing — but that won’t last forever. Be patient with yourself, keep an eye on your credit reports and minimize borrowing until you’re back on your feet financially.

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