How Long Does a Bankruptcy Stay on Your Record?

credit cardsDeclaring bankruptcy is a serious decision and can be a very useful and powerful tool to help an individual start over financially. Even though in some cases bankruptcy can be the best path to financial stability, considering bankruptcy is nearly always a stressful time. The best means to counter the uncertainty and doubt attached to such an important financial decision is to have the knowledge and reassurance that bankruptcy is the best strategy to remedy your current situation. One of the most common questions that we hear is:

“How long will the bankruptcy stay on my record?”

The quick answer to this question is that a bankruptcy may stay on your credit report for up to 10 years. However, this quick answer does not give us a full or accurate picture of bankruptcy. Simply because you have a bankruptcy on your credit report does not mean that no one will do business with you or that you will not be able to obtain credit. Perhaps, what people mean when they ask how long a bankruptcy will affect them is actually,

“How long will it be before I can use credit again?”

There is good news regarding this concern. For many individuals, credit is available not long after the bankruptcy discharge is ordered, regardless of which type of Bankruptcy you filed under. Many people do not realize that declaring bankruptcy will not automatically disqualify them from doing business with companies or being extended credit. It is important to note that you should be especially diligent in reviewing the terms of any new credit agreement so that you do not fall back into the debt cycle. Many people find it effective to only charge what they will be able to pay in full at the end of the month thereby preventing having to pay interest.

Once you have declared bankruptcy it is important to always remember that you have entered a new financial landscape. This landscape provides the chance to start over financially and begin rebuilding credit. Due to changes in the bankruptcy code, you are limited in the number of bankruptcy discharges you can receive over a certain period. Therefore, it is important that you use this time to establish a clean payment record.

If you are thinking about filing

If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, there are certain timelines and criteria that must be met.  Speak to one of our experienced consumer bankruptcy attorneys today.