How Long Does Bankruptcy Ruin Your Credit?

If you are considering getting a clean slate and filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in North Carolina, you have probably heard that bankruptcy will “ruin your credit for 10 years.”

Fortunately, this is not true – as long as you are taking the necessary steps to care for your credit post-bankruptcy.

White Girl on White BackgroundHow Long Will It Be On My Credit Report?

What is true is that when you file bankruptcy, the bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for seven to ten years. This means that for at least seven years from the date your bankruptcy case is filed, bankruptcy will show on your report. After seven years from the date you filed, you can contact the credit bureau to request the bankruptcy be removed, but they are not required to remove it until ten years have passed.

However, just because a bankruptcy shows on your credit report, does not mean your credit is ruined for ten years.

How Long Will My Credit Score Be Hurt?

Your credit score will likely be impacted by the bankruptcy for the first two or three years immediately following your bankruptcy filing. After that time, it is important for you to work on rebuilding your credit, even though the bankruptcy is still showing on your credit report. By working on rebuilding your credit while the bankruptcy is still showing, you are taking important steps to ensure your credit is not “ruined” for ten years. If you are in Chapter 13 bankruptcy, however, be sure to talk to your attorney before you incur any new credit or debt.

After two or three years following your bankruptcy filing, if you have been working on rebuilding your credit, you will begin to see your credit score increase again. It is important to remember that the bankruptcy is similar to a wound – it will not heal overnight, and it takes diligence, time, and care to completely heal. Eventually, that wound will turn into a scar and can still be seen but is not painful. Just like after two or three years the bankruptcy will still be visible on your report but will not have a big impact on your actual FICO score. By caring for your credit and taking the necessary steps to rebuild it during the seven to ten years it is reflected on your credit report, you will ensure that the bankruptcy gives you a true clean slate – and that it does not ruin your credit for ten years.

Just be patient, and remember that your score will not improve overnight. You will need to review any and all post-bankruptcy credit offers carefully, to be sure the interest rate is not outrageous – you certainly don’t want to end up with a debt that will haunt you for years.

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