Make Sure The Right Accounts Were Reported
After your debts are discharged, review your credit reports to make sure that only the accounts that were part of your bankruptcy are reported by the as discharged or included in bankruptcy on your reports. If you find mistakes, notify the credit bureaus and dispute the errors on your credit reports .
Check Your Credit Report
If youre trying to repair your credit after bankruptcy, start by familiarizing yourself with your . All consumers can access a free copy of their credit report through AnnualCreditReport.com. Free reports are typically only available once a yearbut in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, consumers can access free weekly reports through April 20, 2022.
Understanding what makes up your credit score can make it easier to make targeted improvements and provide insight into why your score is or is not increasing. Youll also be able to spot any errors that are bringing your score downsuch as incorrect account information or inaccurate public records.
Reviewing your credit report can also help you confirm that your bankruptcy is removed from your report as soon as possibleafter seven years for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and after 10 years for a Chapter 7.
Send A Request For Goodwill Deletion
Writing a goodwill letter can be a viable option for people who are otherwise in good standing with creditors. If you’ve taken steps to pay down your overall debt and have been paying your monthly bills on time, you might be able to convince your creditor to forgive the late payment.
While there’s no guarantee that the creditor will delete the derogatory information, this strategy does get results for some. Goodwill letters are most successful for one-off problems, such as a single missed payment. However, they are not effective for debtors with a history of late payments, defaults or collections.
When writing the letter:
- Take responsibility for the issue that lead to the derogatory mark
- Explain why you didn’t pay the account
- If you can, point out good payment history before the incident
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File A Dispute Directly With The Creditor
You can also contact the company that provided the information to the bureau in the first place, such as a bank or credit card issuer. Once it receives a dispute, a lender is also required to investigate and respond to all disputes that might impact your score.
Remember to include as much documentation as possible to support your claim. It’s also helpful to include a copy of your report marking the error.
The address you should mail the letter to is usually listed on your report, under the negative item you’d like to dispute. You can also contact the lender directly to verify the mailing address and the documents you should include.
If the lender finds that it was mistaken or cannot prove that the debt actually belongs to you, it will notify the bureau and ask it to update your file.
Professional Help From A Credit Repair Company
Any time you try to dispute a negative item on your credit report, whether its a bankruptcy or a credit card late payment, its bound to be a long, arduous journey.
To save yourself a major headache, consider hiring a professional credit repair company. Theyll not only review your bankruptcy entries, but everything else on your credit report as well, so you can benefit from a holistic strategy for repairing your credit.
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Tips To Help Rebuild Your Credit After Bankruptcy
If youve already felt the wrath of bankruptcy, chances are youre not feeling too optimistic about your future credit score. However, the good news is filing for bankruptcy wont haunt you forever, and the odds of rebuilding your credit are definitely in your favor.
Of course, having the bankruptcy removed from your credit report is the easiest way to get your credit back on track in the shortest period possible. You can also take the following actions to boost your score:
When Can I Get A Bankruptcy Off My Credit Report
Article updated by Mia Taylor May 21, 2018
Filing for bankruptcy in order to deal with overwhelming debts can be a frightening and confusing prospect.
But if youre among those who have opted to use this approach in order to turn a troublesome financial picture around, youre probably wondering what the next step should be. And more importantly, how long it takes to get that bankruptcy removed from your credit reports.
The good news is, bankruptcy filings dont mean the end of obtaining credit and in fact you can try to speed up the removal process, while also rebuilding your financial profile quite successfully.
Turning Your Financial Picture Around
Before you start thinking about when you might be able to get that next or line of credit again, its important to make sure you correct whatever behaviors got you into trouble in the first place.
First and foremost, and most people dont realize this, before getting back into the credit game or applying for anything, make sure your financial habits are fixed, said Exantus. Whatever you did that required filing bankruptcies, you now need to establish good financial habits. That includes things like paying yourself first, saving money, creating an emergency fund. All of these things are so directly tied to credit and the ability to manage credit and money.
Ask The Credit Bureaus How The Bankruptcy Was Verified
If the bankruptcy is verified by the , you will next need to send them a procedural request letter asking them who they verified the bankruptcy with.
In some instances, they will claim it has been verified with the courts, even if it is not. In most cases, the courts do not verify bankruptcies for the credit bureaus.
If the credit bureau claims it was verified with the courts, then proceed to step 4.
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How Long It Takes To Rebuild Your Credit After Bankruptcy
Perhaps the most frustrating part of filing for bankruptcy is how long it takes to rebuild your credit after the fact. The amount of time a bankruptcy stays on your credit report varies depending on the type of bankruptcy. Beyond that, the credit repair process depends largely on whether a borrower takes intentional steps to actively improve his score.
Send A Dispute Letter To Credit Bureaus To Resolve Errors
If you do find an error on your credit files, you can contact Equifax and TransUnion to formally lodge a dispute. Each organization has their own dispute procedure. You will have to mail, call or fill out a form online to register your dispute and get the credit bureau to launch an investigation. If they find an error, they will remove the erroneous information and update your credit reports.
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Early Removal Of A Bankruptcy From Your Credit Report
When you file for bankruptcy, it will appear on your credit history. Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases stay on your credit report for 10 years and Chapter 13 cases stay on for seven years. After this time passes, the bankruptcy should disappear from your credit report automatically.
Creditors are required by law to only report accurate information to credit bureaus. This requirement protects consumers from having any inaccurate information on their reports that would unfairly harm their credit. But this also prevents information from being removed when it is correct. So when you have a bankruptcy case on your credit report and itâs accurate, it canât be removed early.
That said, if the bankruptcy entry has incorrect information or has been wrongly entered, you have the right to dispute it. The Fair Credit Reporting Act gives you the legal right to dispute inaccuracies and errors on your credit report. If you challenge an entry and the agency that reported the entry canât defend it, then theyâre required to remove it.
What Is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a little different. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you agree to a repayment plan that usually takes place over three to five years. Once youve completed the repayment plan, the debts included in the plan may be eligible to be discharged.
A completed Chapter 13 bankruptcy and the accounts included in it should disappear from your credit reports seven years from the date you filed. Accounts that were delinquent before the bankruptcy filing may be removed from your reports sooner.
Another thing you should know is that lenders may look at Chapter 13 bankruptcy a little more favorably than Chapter 7, because with Chapter 13 bankruptcy you normally agree to repay at least some of your debt.
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Work With A Credit Counseling Agency
Several non-profit credit counseling organizations, like the National Foundation for Credit Counseling , can help dispute inaccurate information on your record.
The NFCC can provide financial counseling, help review your credit history, help you create a budget and even a debt management plan free of charge. It also offers counseling for homeownership, bankruptcy and foreclosure prevention.
As always, be wary of companies that overpromise, make claims that are too good to be true and ask for payment before rendering services.
When looking for a legitimate credit counselor, the FTC advises consumers to check if they have any complaints with:
- Your states Attorney General
- Local consumer protection agencies
- The United States Trustee program
A Fresh Start After Bankruptcy
Mei Ling and Matt are a married couple who rent a flat in Gosford NSW. Both worked full time until two years ago when Matt lost his job. Mei Ling now works part time earning less than $40,000 per year.
For two years they tried to survive on Mei Lings wage, struggling to make repayments on their overdue credit cards and loans. They ended up with unsecured debts of over $65,000.
The only assets they owned were a car worth $5,000 and general household goods .
The pressure from their creditors became too much to handle. Debt collectors and process servers were constantly calling on them. Their electricity was turned off a few times and they stopped answering phone calls because it always seemed to be bad news. Matts health was also suffering and he was treated for depression. Most nights Mei Ling would end up in tears thinking about their situation.
They finally decided to see a financial counsellor. There was no charge for this service. The financial counsellor looked through their finances and suggested they consider filing for bankruptcy.
Matt and Mei Ling went home and looked in detail at the AFSA website. They read all about their options and the consequences of bankruptcy. The AFSA website showed that they would be able to keep their car because it was worth less than the set amount. They read they could also keep their household goods. In the end, they decided that bankruptcy would be the best option for them.
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To Remove A Bankruptcy From Your Credit Report Youll Need To Find Evidence That The Bankruptcy Was Reported Incorrectly Otherwise It Will Only Come Off After Seven Or 10 Years Depending On The Type Of Bankruptcy
Beyond the stress and inconvenience that comes with filing for bankruptcy, it can have a long-standing impact on your credit report and score.
Fortunately, that negative impact can be mitigated with the right help.
Can You Remove Bankruptcy From Your Credit Report During The Reporting Period
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, a credit reporting agency has the right to report any information that is truthful and accurate. That includes the fact that you filed for bankruptcy.
If theres inaccurate information on your credit report, you have the ability to dispute those errors and demand that the credit reporting agency conduct an investigation. If the investigation reveals that youre correct then the inaccuracy should be removed from your credit report.
In the case of bankruptcy, reporting it on your credit report is accurate. Trying to remove it by saying that its inaccurate is a lie. You wouldnt be disputing an inaccuracy, youd be trying to game the system. Thats what so many of the do try to game the system.
And you wouldnt want to do that, would you?
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How To Improve Your Credit Score
If your credit score is low, there are steps you can take to help improve it. You can:
- lower your credit card limit
- limit how many applications you make for credit
- pay your rent or mortgage on time
- pay your utility bills on time
- pay your credit card on time each month either pay in full or pay more than the minimum repayment
As you do these things, your credit score will start to improve. So you’ll be more likely to be approved next time you apply for a loan or credit.
If you’re struggling to pay bills and are getting into more debt, talk to a free financial counsellor. They can take you through the options and help you make a plan.
Different Types Of Bankruptcies
There are many types of bankruptcy. The most common for individuals and small businesses are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
The differences between the two are essential to note. They determine your options for how to remove bankruptcies from credit reports. Ultimately, its the different maximum duration on your records and the repayment plans that determine how much your credit scores drop.
In both cases, it might be prudent to consult a bankruptcy lawyer or consultant. Legal advisors can help you to understand the details of each plan. Knowing the details of the type of bankruptcy can help in understanding how to contest the procedure. Plus, it will help you assess how bankruptcy affects your credit score in the long run.
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Hire A Credit Repair Specialist To Deal With The Bankruptcy
This is obviously a lot of work, and it may seem a bit overwhelming. You may feel like its too much to handle with everything else going on in your life.
In that case, you may want to procure the services of a quality credit repair company. You could also hire a good bankruptcy attorney.
Granted, its never a good feeling when you pay out of pocket to fix something that wasnt your fault.
Taking it on by yourself can be a big challenge, though. It will cost you in terms of time and money.
Someday, fraud and cybercrime might be a thing of the past. But, for now, its a part of life that many of us have to deal with at one time or another.
Errors By The Credit Reporting Agency
The credit reporting agency may have reported your information wrongly. For example:
- your name, date of birth or address needs updating
- a debt is listed twice
- the amount of a debt is wrong
To fix this kind of error, contact the credit reporting agency. They may be able to fix it straight away or help you get it changed.
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How Can I Rebuild My Credit After Bankruptcy
The most important thing you can do to improve your credit score after a bankruptcy is remove the bankruptcy from your credit report.
Equally important is learning and changing your personal finance habits so that it doesnt happen again. This might involve reviewing your income and expenses or building your emergency fund to prevent future financial hardships.
The most important ongoing habit you can begin is to pay all of your bills on time because your payment history accounts for the largest portion of your credit score. Even a single 30-day late payment can cause a significant dip, so imagine how bad it could be if you regularly miss a payment.
Your other best bet for rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy is to avoid accruing new debt.
Depending on the type of bankruptcy filing, you probably had much of your debt discharged. So even though the bankruptcy itself is a major negative item on your credit report, consider the rest a blank slate.
Avoid racking up additional debt because that also has a significant impact on your credit score.
You may also want to get a secured credit card. Its a credit card designed for people who want to rebuild their credit. The credit card issuer will give you a credit limit based on the security deposit you pay upfront. By making monthly payments on time, you can start to rebuild your credit immediately.
How Long Does It Take To Rebuild Your Credit After Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Unlike a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy stays on a consumers credit report for just seven years. In general, though, it takes anywhere from 12 to 18 months to start improving your credit score after your Chapter 13 bankruptcy is discharged. Many borrowers can refinance their restructured debt after 18 months.
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Check Your Credit Report For Errors Related To Bankruptcy
Firstly, itâs important to always be monitoring your credit scores and credit reports with Canadaâs two credit bureaus, Equifax and TransUnion to catch errors as soon as they occur and fix them before they harm your credit worthiness. Review all your credit accounts and ensure that all the names, address, phone number, balances and payment information are correct for each of your accounts. Also be sure to check all your personal information to confirm that your identity has not been confused with someone elseâs.