One of the biggest concerns and reasons why people are hesitant about filing for bankruptcy is the long-term impact that filing has on their credit report. Though a bankruptcy filing does not remain on your credit history forever or create a permanent black mark, it can definitely feel as though it does. Here’s what you need to know about the real time frame for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies, as well as some tips for improving your credit score immediately.

The date that your bankruptcy gets removed from your credit score is dependent upon whether you file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy – in which almost all of your debts can be discharged – or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which creates a payment plan for you to pay off your debts. Under Chapter 13, your bankruptcy will automatically be deleted seven years after your filing date, while under Chapter 7 the bankruptcy gets deleted ten years after the date you file.

The good news is that no matter which type of bankruptcy you file for, you don’t have to take any steps to remove the record of your filing from your public records or credit report. You also don’t need to delete unpaid accounts that were included in the bankruptcy. It all happens automatically.  In fact, some accounts will disappear more quickly than the record of the bankruptcy itself because they will get deleted seven years after their original delinquency date.

If you have decided to file for bankruptcy and you are concerned about the long-term effects on your credit score, the best thing that you can do is to work towards rebuilding your credit score. Some positive steps that you can take include:

  • Make sure that you are staying current on payments to any accounts that were not included in your bankruptcy filing, paying down balances on student debt and similar non-dischargeable loans as quickly as possible. Your goal is to lower your debt-to-income ratio.
  • Apply for credit cards and loans designed to rebuild your credit. Options include secured credit cards, retail and gas cards, and small installment loans.
  • Ask creditors to report your payments to the credit agencies. This does not automatically happen, but if you request it then they will do so.
  • Pay off balances in full on the cards and loans that you open.
  • Check your credit report frequently.

For legal help with debt and bankruptcy-related issues, contact our experienced bankruptcy attorneys today.

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