Credit history is important. As simply explained by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, your credit report matters because “lenders, insurers, employers, and others may obtain your credit report from credit bureaus to assess how you manage financial responsibilities.”
A bankruptcy filing is adverse information on your credit report. However, bankruptcy does not stay on your report forever. Here, our Las Vegas bankruptcy attorney explains the most important things you should understand about personal bankruptcy and your credit report.
Bankruptcy and Your Credit Report: What You Need to Know
A bankruptcy will still show up on your credit report even after your debts have been fully discharged and the process is complete. How long a personal bankruptcy remains on your credit report will depend on which type of bankruptcy you file:
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy (10 Years): A Chapter 7 bankruptcy (straight bankruptcy) allows a financially distressed individual to discharge most (if not all) of their debts. Under federal regulations, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing will stay on your credit report for ten years. After ten years have passed, it will roll off of your records. If you have any specific questions about this type of bankruptcy, our Las Vegas Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer can help.
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy (7 Years): Through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, one can obtain a repayment plan that allows them to resolve their debts through a single, sustainable monthly payment. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for seven years. After seven years have passed, it will disappear from your official credit records. For more information, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Las Vegas Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney.
The Effect on a Bankruptcy Will Gradually Diminish
A bankruptcy on your credit report is adverse information. It is good news when either seven or ten years passes so that it can roll off of your records. That being said, a bankruptcy filing and your credit report is not a binary issue. The negative effect that a bankruptcy filing has on your credit score will slowly diminish over time—even if the bankruptcy is still technically listed on your credit history.
As an example, imagine that a person filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection in 2016. After filing for personal bankruptcy, they focused on rebuilding and restoring their financial health. By 2021, they are in a far stronger financial position and have multiple years of timely credit payments. The 2015 bankruptcy will still appear on their credit report, but their overall credit score will have improved dramatically since the date of their filing.
Filing for Bankruptcy Can Help Your Credit Score in the Long Run
As noted previously, a bankruptcy is “adverse information” on a credit report. At the same time, filing for bankruptcy can actually sometimes help a financially distressed person’s credit score—at least in the long run. Here is the issue: Every month you miss a payment or fall further behind on your debt it shows up on your credit report. In some cases, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best option to solve the problem. Bankruptcy can be the first step towards returning to financial peace and stability. In the long run, a personal bankruptcy can wipe the slate clean. A fresh start is available.
Know Your Right to a Free Annual Credit Report
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) explains that every American has the legal right to get a free annual copy of their credit report from each of the three major reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). The officially authorized website to access a free annual credit report is AnnualCreditReport.com. To ensure that you are in the best position to repair and restore your financial health after a bankruptcy, make sure that you access and review your credit report on a regular basis. If there are errors, you can take action to correct them.
Call Our Las Vegas Bankruptcy Attorney for Immediate Help
At Vohwinkel Law, our Nevada bankruptcy lawyer is an experienced, reliable advocate for people and families. If you have any questions about debt, bankruptcy, and your long-term financial health, we are more than happy to help. For a free, completely private review of your case, please contact us today. With a law office in Las Vegas, we provide bankruptcy & debt relief services throughout all of Southern Nevada, including in North Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, and Spring Valley.