How Long Does Bankruptcy Stay On Your Credit History

How Long Does Bankruptcy Stay On Your Credit History?

Bankruptcy is a legal process that provides individuals with a fresh financial start when they are overwhelmed with debt. However, it is important to note that filing for bankruptcy has long-term consequences, particularly on your credit history. Bankruptcy can significantly impact your ability to obtain credit in the future, affecting your financial stability for several years. In this article, we will explore how long bankruptcy stays on your credit history and answer some frequently asked questions related to this topic.

Bankruptcy and Credit Reports:

When you file for bankruptcy, it is recorded in your credit report, which is maintained by credit reporting agencies such as Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Your credit report is a detailed record of your credit history, including information about your loans, credit cards, and payment history. Bankruptcy is considered a major negative event that can have a lasting impact on your creditworthiness.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy:

Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as liquidation bankruptcy, allows individuals to eliminate most of their debts by selling off non-exempt assets. This type of bankruptcy typically remains on your credit report for ten years from the date of filing.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy:

Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also called reorganization bankruptcy, allows individuals to create a repayment plan to pay off their debts over a period of three to five years. Chapter 13 bankruptcy generally stays on your credit report for seven years from the date of filing.

Effect on Credit Score:

Bankruptcy has a significant impact on your credit score, which is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness. The exact decrease in your credit score due to bankruptcy depends on various factors, including your credit history before bankruptcy, the number of accounts involved, and the type of bankruptcy filed.

See also  How Does California Debt Relief Work

In general, bankruptcy can lead to a substantial drop in your credit score, often by 100 points or more. This drop can make it difficult for you to obtain credit in the future or result in higher interest rates and less favorable terms when you do get approved for credit.

Rebuilding Credit After Bankruptcy:

While bankruptcy remains on your credit report for a significant period, it is not the end of your financial journey. With time and responsible financial behavior, you can rebuild your credit. Here are some steps to consider:

1. Review your credit report: Once your bankruptcy is discharged, review your credit report for accuracy. Ensure that all accounts included in bankruptcy are correctly reported as “included in bankruptcy” and that discharged debts are marked as “discharged.”

2. Establish a budget: Create a realistic budget to manage your income and expenses. This will help you live within your means and avoid falling into the same financial pitfalls that led to bankruptcy.

3. Open a secured credit card: Secured credit cards require a security deposit, making them easier to obtain after bankruptcy. Use the card responsibly, paying off the balance in full each month to demonstrate responsible credit usage.

4. Make payments on time: Pay all your bills on time, including any new credit obligations you have. Payment history is a significant factor in determining your creditworthiness.

5. Seek professional guidance: Consider working with a credit counselor or financial advisor who can guide you through the process of rebuilding your credit and managing your finances effectively.


See also  How to File for Bankruptcy and Keep Your House

Q: Can I remove bankruptcy from my credit report before the designated time?
A: It is challenging to remove bankruptcy from your credit report before the designated time. However, you can dispute any inaccuracies or inconsistencies in your credit report to ensure its accuracy.

Q: Will bankruptcy prevent me from getting credit in the future?
A: While bankruptcy can make it more difficult to obtain credit, it does not mean you will never be able to get credit again. With responsible financial behavior and time, you can rebuild your credit and regain access to credit options.

Q: Can I apply for a mortgage after bankruptcy?
A: Yes, it is possible to apply for a mortgage after bankruptcy. However, you may need to wait for a certain period, typically two to four years, and demonstrate financial stability during that time.

Q: Will bankruptcy affect my ability to rent an apartment?
A: Bankruptcy can affect your ability to rent an apartment, as landlords often consider credit history when evaluating potential tenants. However, it is not impossible to rent an apartment after bankruptcy. Providing additional references or a larger security deposit may help in such situations.


Bankruptcy has a lasting impact on your credit history, with Chapter 7 bankruptcy remaining on your credit report for ten years and Chapter 13 bankruptcy for seven years. It can significantly lower your credit score, making it challenging to obtain credit in the future. However, with responsible financial behavior, time, and the right strategies, you can rebuild your credit and regain financial stability.

See also  After Bankruptcy When Can I Buy a Car