FAQs about bankruptcies and credit reports

If you’re considering bankruptcy, you probably have many questions about how it will affect your credit. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about bankruptcies and credit reports.

How long will a bankruptcy stay on my credit report?

A bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for up to 10 years. However, this doesn’t mean your credit will be affected for 10 years. The impact of a bankruptcy on your credit will lessen over time, and you’ll eventually be able to qualify for credit products like loans and credit cards.

What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that regulates credit reporting agencies. The FCRA requires credit reporting agencies to remove bankruptcies from credit reports after 10 years. However, the FCRA does not apply to all credit reporting agencies. Some credit reporting agencies may choose to remove bankruptcies from credit reports sooner than required by the FCRA.

Will I be able to get credit after a bankruptcy?

Yes, you’ll eventually be able to qualify for credit products after a bankruptcy. However, you may need to rebuild your credit first. You can do this by getting a secured credit card or becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit card account. You can also try using a credit-builder loan, which is a loan specifically intended to help people rebuild their credit.

Will filing for bankruptcy stop creditors from contacting me?

Filing for bankruptcy will stop creditors from attempting to collect on debt through phone calls, letters, and legal action. However, it’s important to remember that you still have to make payments on secured debts (such as a mortgage or car loan) during and after the bankruptcy process.

Can I file for bankruptcy more than once?

There are limits on how often you can file for bankruptcy. You typically have to wait 8 years between filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcies, and 4 years between filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcies. It’s important to consider all your options before filing for bankruptcy again. Seeking credit counseling and budgeting may help you avoid filing for bankruptcy multiple times.