How Does Bankruptcy Affect Your Credit Score?

THESE DAYS EVERYONE KNOWS THEIR CREDIT SCORE, JUST LIKE THEY KNOW THEIR PHONE NUMBER.  CAN THIS IMPORTANT NUMBER BE DAMAGED BY FILING FOR BANKRUPTCY?

While filing for bankruptcy can initially lower your credit score, wiping out your debt will help raise your credit score over the long term.  Often, a person can rebuild their credit score after bankruptcy by following a few straightforward steps.

Are you struggling with debt that seems to keep mounting no matter what you do and wondering which direction to turn?  Do you stay awake at night worrying about finances?  Always remember, information is power.  So, the more information about credit scores and bankruptcy you have, the easier it becomes to make proactive decisions.  There are many places to find legal help with debt relief.

The law firm of Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer has helped many clients who are struggling with debt and worried about their credit score. To speak to an affordable bankruptcy attorney at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer, call 614-228-4435 (Columbus), 937-222-7472 (Dayton), or 877-654-5297 (Cincinnati).  We offer a free initial consultation and can help you get back on the road to success.

Bankruptcy’s Effect on Your Credit Score

First of all, what is a FICO credit score?  This score is an indicator of your personal credit worthiness that is calculated by one of three credit reporting agencies in the United States. These agencies give you a score – the higher, the better – based on your past behavior with credit, your likelihood of paying back debt promptly, and your years of experience with handling consumer debt. Typically, banks, mortgage lenders and other financial institutions will pull your credit score when making a decision about whether to lend you money for a house or car or whether to approve you for a credit card. Bankruptcy does affect your credit score.

You are allowed free access to one copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of these three credit reporting agencies.

THE THREE U.S. CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES

To read more about the three credit reporting agencies and how they work, look here.  If you want to understand your rights under the law to request, review and dispute things listed on your credit reports, go to the Federal Trade Commission consumer information website.

How Long Does Bankruptcy Affect Your Credit Score?

THE LENGTH OF TIME A BANKRUPTCY STAYS ON YOUR CREDIT REPORTS DEPENDS ON WHAT KIND OF BANKRUPTCY YOU FILE

A bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for 7 to 10 years.  There are many factors that determine whether it is 7 years or 10 years such as what chapter you file, how long you were in the bankruptcy, if your case was converted from one chapter to a different chapter, etc.  An experienced bankruptcy attorney can answer all of your questions about the details of your credit score.

While your credit score will initially go down after filing for bankruptcy, having your debts discharged will allow you to raise your credit score over the long term.  Most clients are able to open a credit card or get a car loan right after filing for bankruptcy, and many clients are able to get a home loan in two to three years after their bankruptcy.

Additional Reading:  Medical Bankruptcy

To speak to an affordable bankruptcy attorney at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer, call 614-228-4435 (Columbus), 937-222-7472 (Dayton), or 877-654-5297 (Cincinnati).

Two Types of Personal Bankruptcy

WHAT IS CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY?

Chapter 7 is the most common form of bankruptcy, and it will eliminate most or all debts, but you can use it only once every eight years. It’s quick — over in a few months, so you can begin rebuilding credit. There are exemptions (Exemption Laws of Ohio) that can protect your property, but it is advisable to consult with an attorney to confirm that your particular property is protected. Exemptions can include clothing, cars, equipment used for work (like tools) and household furnishings.

WHAT IS CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a repayment plan which allows you to save your assets.

Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can consolidate payments to repay some or all of your debt affordably over a three- to five-year period. This plan is best for those who don’t qualify for Chapter 7, who want to keep an asset that they are behind on or who have equity in an asset that they want to protect. Once you file for Chapter 13, harassing calls and letters from creditors stop; and once you successfully complete the payment plan, qualifying debts covered by the plan are discharged.

How Do I Rebuild My Credit After Bankruptcy?

If you’re worried about how long bankruptcy affects your credit score, it may also be important to start thinking about how to rebuild your credit score after bankruptcy. There are several proactive things you can do after bankruptcy to immediately begin rebuilding your credit score.

STEPS FOR REBUILDING YOUR CREDIT SCORE AFTER BANKRUPTCY

  1. Keep paying non-bankruptcy accounts in a timely manner.
  2. Avoid credit repair/consolidation companies.
  3. Make sure your credit report accurately reflects your bankruptcy and correct any reporting errors.
  4. Avoid job-hopping.
  5. Be prompt and on time when paying rent, utilities, and other expenses of daily living.
  6. Consider getting a secured credit card (where you put up the money in a credit card account – say $500 – and use it almost like a debit card.) By making on-time monthly payments, you demonstrate that you are being responsible with credit. Make sure that you choose a card issuer who reports your payments to the credit bureaus.

Help from Respected Ohio Bankruptcy Attorneys

FESENMYER COUSINO WEINZIMMER IS HERE TO HELP YOU LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW BANKRUPTCY AFFECTS YOUR CREDIT SCORE

If you have additional questions about how bankruptcy affects your credit score or if you’re considering filing bankruptcy, the skilled and experienced attorneys at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer can help.  We can explain your options and help you make informed decisions about what to do.  There is a brighter future for you out there, and Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer wants to help you get there.  To speak to an affordable bankruptcy attorney at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer, call 614-228-4435 (Columbus), 937-222-7472 (Dayton), or 877-654-5297 (Cincinnati).  We offer a free initial consultation and can help you get back on the road to success.

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