If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, you might want to know if what you hear is true: “I understand that filing for bankruptcy will hurt my credit for 10 years. Is it true?” For those with bad credit, the short answer is no.
“How can that be?” you might ask.
If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy or have sought out the advice of a bankruptcy attorney, your credit is most likely already down the drain. You’re in debt up to your ears and have several black marks on your credit report. If this is the case, then there’s no credit for a bankruptcy filing to hurt for the immediate future.
Plus, what really hurts your credit? Not paying your debts.
“But a bankruptcy filing stays on a credit report for up to 10 years.”
Yes, that’s true. A note about your filing can be on your report for 10 years, but that doesn’t mean that it will negatively impact your credit standing for that period. There’s a difference.
After filing, if you’ve practiced responsible money management – paid your bills on time and spent less than you’ve earned – you’ll slowly build up your credit to the point where the filing will matter less and less.
In fact, filing for bankruptcy can help your credit standing, which is why most people do it. Bankruptcy wipes away your current balances, giving you the opportunity to rebuild good credit. Think of filing as the first step to restoring credit.
Also, keep in mind that filing for bankruptcy is a frequent occurrence in today’s market. It’s so commonplace that banks and creditors can’t ignore everyone that’s filed for bankruptcy in the past. If they did, they wouldn’t have any customers.
The terms of loans or credit cards immediately following your filing might not be the most favorable – think high interest rates and higher down payments – but over time with good money habits, you can bring down those interest rates and restore lenders’ faith in your ability to pay them back.