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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 products

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

1 - 5 of 13
Name Product Fee Minimum deposit to open Requirements Credit Bureaus Offer
Chime® Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card
Finder Score: 5 / 5: ★★★★★
Chime® Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card
$0 per month
Must have a Chime Checking Account with eligible direct deposits to qualify.
Equifax, Experian,TransUnion
A secured credit card that helps build credit and is designed to work with Chime’s Checking account.
Step Black Card
Finder Score: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Step Black Card
From $0 per month
Step users who are 13 years or older
Equifax, Experian,TransUnion
Safely build credit without a credit check or credit history while earning savings rewards and cashback.
Extra debit card
Finder Score: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Extra debit card
From $20 per month
Requires an existing bank account.
Equifax, Experian
The Extra Debit Card can help build your credit and even offer rewards on every purchase.
Cleo Credit Builder Card
Finder Score: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
Cleo Credit Builder Card
$14.99 per month
Requires bank account
Equifax, Experian,TransUnion
A secured credit card designed to help build credit with up to a $500 cash advance
Current Credit Building Card
Finder Score: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
Current Credit Building Card
$0 per month
Subject to approval, with no credit check involved.
Equifax, Experian,TransUnion
Build credit with every swipe using only the money in your account, no matter your credit history or score.

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.

Written by

Bethany Hickey

Bethany Hickey is the banking editor and personal finance expert at Finder, specializing in banking, lending, insurance, and crypto. Bethany’s expertise in personal finance has garnered recognition from esteemed media outlets, such as Nasdaq, MSN, Yahoo Finance, GOBankingRates, SuperMoney, AOL and Newsweek. Her articles offer practical financial strategies to Americans, empowering them to make decisions that meet their financial goals. Her past work includes articles on generational spending and saving habits, lending, budgeting and managing debt. Before joining Finder, she was a content manager where she wrote hundreds of articles and news pieces on auto financing and credit repair for CarsDirect, Auto Credit Express and The Car Connection, among others. Bethany holds a BA in English from the University of Michigan-Flint, and was poetry editor for the university’s Qua Literary and Fine Arts Magazine. See full profile

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