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How To Boost Credit After Bankruptcy

Can Filing Bankruptcy Improve Credit Score

How to Improve Your Credit Score After Bankruptcy

Asked by: Felicita Lesch

People in this score range have seen credit score boosts as high as 50 points after filing for bankruptcy. Individuals usually file bankruptcy under either of two chapters of the federal bankruptcy code. … This is because major credit score factors such as late payments and credit card utilization will be reset.

more weight to recent activities12 to 18 monthsBankruptcy will do severe damage to your credit in the short termless than $84,95222 related questions found

How To Rebuild Credit After Bankruptcy

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A bankruptcy gives you the relief of a clean financial slate but also the worry that youll never have decent credit again.

Although a bankruptcy stays on your credit reports for up to 10 years, its impact on your score will fade with time. In fact, your credit score after bankruptcy may not be as bad as you think. You may actually have a higher credit score a year after bankruptcy than before filing because you stop fighting an impossible battle and begin rebuilding.

If you were eligible to file for bankruptcy, whether it was Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the most common kind, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your credit may have already been in tatters. But you can begin to restore your credit right away by offsetting the negative information on your credit report with something more positive.

Become An Authorized User On An Account

This means that someone else typically a close friend or relative adds you to their credit card account. Your credit can benefit from their positive account history and on-time payments, and your own preexisting credit history wont hurt theirs. You can use the credit card in your name, but youre not legally responsible for paying it off.

The flip side? Your credit may suffer from the primary account holders bad credit moves, and it may be hard to get removed from the account. Consider this credit-building method only if you trust the person to be responsible with the account.

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Keep Your Balances Low

Its also a good idea to keep your balances low. Credit utilization measures the amount of credit youre using versus the total amount of credit available to you. FICO factors credit utilization as 30% of your score. So whenever possible, its best to use less than 30% of your total available credit.

Do I Have To Report A Bankruptcy After 7 Years

Steps to Improve Credit Score After Bankruptcy

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for ten years after your filing date. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy gets removed after seven years because debtors repay at least some of their debt. While the bankruptcy information remains on your credit report, anyone who pulls your credit can learn of your filing.

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Heres How Soon After Bankruptcy You Can Get A Credit Card:

  • Secured credit card: After bankruptcy discharged

    These cards require a refundable security deposit, usually at least $200, which doubles as your credit limit. Because youre putting up your own money, your approval chances are high.

    The Discover it Secured Credit Card does not reject applicants for having a Chapter 7 bankruptcy on their credit history. And the Capital One Secureds only bankruptcy requirement is that the case must be fully discharged. Some cards, like OpenSky, dont even check your credit report when you apply, so theyre great for post-bankruptcy credit improvement.

  • Unsecured credit cards for bad credit: After bankruptcy discharged

    One example is the . Credit One Bank says a discharged bankruptcy wont hurt your approval chances, but could lead to a lower credit limit and a higher annual fee.

  • Immediately

    If a friend or family member makes you an authorized user on their credit card account, that account will be added to your credit reports, and youll benefit if the main account holder pays the bill on time every month. If your friend or relative allows it, you will also get a card with your name on it to use for purchases.

In addition to finding the right credit card with which to begin rebuilding your credit, you should review your credit reports for errors and monitor your credit score moving forward. You definitely dont want the problems that led to bankruptcy to repeat themselves.

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Ways To Rebuild Your Cibil Score After Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a legal status of a person or an entity who cannot repay the debt that is owed to the creditors. It could happen if you have undergone a huge loss in your business or due to losing a job or an accident leading you to be paralysed or handicapped. When one declares for bankruptcy, his CIBIL score decreases and a low CIBIL score makes it close to impossible to get further credit. The bankruptcy remains on your for up to 10 years.

Though it is hard to get a credit after bankruptcy, it is not impossible. If bankruptcy is mentioned on your CIBIL report, it means you will have to pay more to borrow more. But bankruptcy should enable you to start fresh and help you start to save as all your debt will be eliminated. Grow a substantial emergency reserve.

You can take the following measures to start fixing your CIBIL score:

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Becoming An Authorized User

If you have difficulty obtaining a co-signer or a , it might be easier for you to become an authorized user on someone elses card.

Through this, you can use the card to make payments and avail all benefits. The card is in your name, and the account is linked to a borrowers account.

Indeed, they would have to make timely payments at the end of the month and clear out any negative balance.

Make sure to choose a responsible person, more importantly, a person with accountability to avoid negative reporting.

Employing Other Types Of Credit


Car dealerships may actively market to people who have recently emerged from bankruptcy. A few months after receiving their bankruptcy discharge, consumers may start receiving letters from dealerships offering to help them re-establish credit through the purchase of a new car . The terms on these types of loans may fall in line with the terms offered in other parts of the subprime marketthey aren’t good, but they are not horrible, either. Since you recently filed for bankruptcy, you’re considered a risky borrower.

Whereas folks with a decent credit score might get loans at a rate of 5%, these loans could come with rates as high as 18% or more. If you can afford to stick to payments with such high rates, you could use these loans as a way of building credit.

However, this strategy is generally not advisable unless you have the cash or income to support such a high-interest payment. A good rule of thumb for interest payments is that you should try to avoid any interest rate that is higher than the rate you could reasonably expect to earn by investing your money in the stock market .

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Become An Authorized User

Building your credit as an authorized user on someone elses credit card is acceptable. Being an authorized user involves having a card attached to another borrowers account, not to your own account.

Youll be able to use the card for purchases without having to qualify for the account. But you cannot do any changes to the account.

Make sure the credit card company reports authorized user payments to the credit bureaus, which increases your credit score.

Keep Your Credit Utilization At 30% Or Less

Another tip for rebuilding your credit is to keep your credit card balances at 30% or less of your available credit limit. Getting a credit card or applying for new loans should strictly be for rebuilding credit at this point. Dont use credit cards for making large purchases or for making loans to yourself.

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Your Credit Report After Bankruptcy

For the years following your bankruptcy, monitor your credit reports regularly. Watch for errors and then file disputes. Get help from a who can spot inaccuracies, dispute the errors and coach you toward your best credit score possible.

Lexington Law has helped clients work towards fair and accurate credit scores by leveraging their rights. Weve helped hundreds of thousands of clients remove unfair, inaccurate and unverified accounts from their credit reports.

Bankruptcy Information Can Be Wrong

How to Increase Your Credit Score After Bankruptcy (Part 2)

You may want to hire a credit repair attorney if your record shows inaccurate financial or bankruptcy information. They can speak with credit reporting agencies, credit card companies, or credit card issuers if you are having personal finance trouble. An attorney can also step in if a company does not discharge your debt correctly or you fall into a credit counseling scam.

Remember: A bankruptcy discharge legally stops creditors from harassing you. You have rights if a company is not following the process or respecting your bankruptcy filing.

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What Bankruptcy Will Affect While On Your Credit Score

Your payment history, on-time payments, and recent credit reporting can all affect how lenders work with you.

Once you file bankruptcy and businesses see your credit report’s negative information, you may have concerns about:

  • Getting a car loan
  • Getting loans without a qualified co-signer
  • Adding authorized users to some credit cards
  • Security deposits and returns of safety deposits

You have options regarding all these concerns if you are having credit or debt issues. There are ways to address each concern by yourself or with professional help. Getting a fresh start is possible, especially after filing bankruptcy.

Buying A Car After Bankruptcy

At some point in your post-bankruptcy life, youll likely want to buy a car. You can certainly do so and even walk into a dealership with some bargaining power.

To prepare for this moment, use your credit card responsibly for at least six months. This simple act adds to your credit history and shows that creditors can trust you to make on-time payments.

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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.

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Take Out A Credit Builder Loan


For a credit builder loan, the bank, credit union or nonprofit acting as the lender deposits the money into a savings account for you. You then make payments over a period of time. Unlike a line of credit, where you can access the money any time, youâll get the money from your credit builder loan when youâre done making the monthly payments.

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What To Do First To Start Rebuilding After Bankruptcy:

Organize all of your bankruptcy discharge information: After the bankruptcy, you will need all the paperwork you were provided for your discharge. If you lose them you can pay to get them online. It is important to keep all the paperwork, notes and debt information along with all the certificates you earned. The three most important papers are: the petition, notice of filing, and discharge.

There are several reasons to have these papers on hand. Your new lenders will want to see exactly what kinds of debt you filed for. The second reason is an old collector may come calling and you can then prove the debt is discharged.

That information can be seen on the credit report, but you do not want to risk errors or any creditor seeing more than they need to see to satisfy another loan.

Develop Good Credit Monitoring Habits: You are able to obtain your credit reports free annually. Do this religiously and make it a habit to monitor every piece of information on it to ensure it is correct. Any little detail can cost you going forward and post discharge is not the time to have that happen.

Make sure you know what collection agencies were on your credit report prior to discharge. In checking your post discharge credit report, you should not see a new company there. Sometimes old debt gets sold, so they can dupe you into paying. Make sure you stop this as early as you see it.

Avoid Getting Into Debt Againmake Smart Financial Choices

Part of rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy means learning new money habits. The tips on this page have hopefully helped you. However, just as rebuilding your credit takes time, getting used to and practising new money habits does too.

If you notice that youre starting to get behind again, dont wait until youre maxed out before you get help. Whether you need to talk to a family member, friend, or get expert help, the sooner you take that step, the easier it will be to get back on track.

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Debt To Spending Ratio

In years past the most important thing you needed to remember about credit was paying it in full. The second most important thing to remember was to never pay the minimum. Minimum payments still cause interest payments. And if you get a new credit card that is a credit rebuilder, the interest could be 20%. We will talk about interest a little later.

Today, credit card companies review and judge the lifestyle rather than simply on-time bill payments. The way they do this is they look at whether or not you are living on the credit cards. You may be thinking, So what if I am? This sounds much like a value statement on their part but it still stands true as the way they will judge how you use the privilege of credit with their company.

Beware Credit Card Fees Use New Credit Wisely

How to Improve Credit Score After Bankruptcy

After bankruptcy, some companies attempt to charge stunningly high fees for secured cards, sometimes as high as $200 for a $500 card. Talk about adding insult to injury.

However, you have choices. Shop for a low- or zero-fee card, study the fine print, and make the choice best for you. Be on the lookout for interest rates on balances carried over.

Also, make certain your new card company reports to all three credit monitoring agencies. Some dont, and youll want the world to see how exceptionally well post-bankruptcy you is performing.

Once youve secured a secured credit card, you will demonstrate that excellent performance by using the card prudently, never going above 30% of the balance limit, and paying off the balance each month.

When you are comfortable paying off the secured credit card, you might be ready to try for an unsecured card. Once again, anticipate rejection, high fees, or punishing interest rates.

However, given sufficient time and diligence using your secured card balances kept low and paid off each month you should be able to obtain a regular, unsecured credit card one even with rewards or cash back.

But the rules do not change: When you do get an unsecured credit card, keep the balances low and paid off on time monthly.

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Why You Should Never Pay A Collection Agency

On the other hand, paying an outstanding loan to a debt collection agency can hurt your credit score. Any action on your credit report can negatively impact your credit score even paying back loans. If you have an outstanding loan thats a year or two old, its better for your credit report to avoid paying it.

How To Rebuild Your Credit After Bankruptcy

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The unfortunate truth? Debt problems happen. Its important to remember, as you build your finances, assets, and credit, that saving enough money to prevent serious debt problems should be considered a top priority. Then again, situations sometimes occur that push people down the steep slope that is bankruptcy. Their debts become too large to manage and theyve exhausted all other options . So, they hire a licensed insolvency trustee and start the long, time and money consuming hike, back up that slope towards rebuilding their credit.

So, how exactly do you rebuild and repair your credit after being discharged from bankruptcy?

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Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

Verdict: While it doesn’t offer rewards, it does offer flexible refundable deposit options.

Like the Discover it® Secured Credit Card, the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card requires you to submit a security deposit to open an account . But while most secured cards have a credit limit equal to the amount you deposited, the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card starts your credit limit at $200, even if you’ve only chosen to deposit $49.

If you don’t mind putting down a higher deposit, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card still offers better rewards than the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card, but Visa and MasterCard products have the added perk of being accepted at more places nationwide than most Discover cards. Note that to pay the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Cards security deposit youll need access to an authorized bank account.

  • Rewards: No


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