Use these strategies to help you remove or lessen the impact of bankruptcy on your credit report.
Have you ever declared bankruptcy?
It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
From 2005 to 2017, approximately 12.8 million US consumers filed for bankruptcy. So if you were one of them, you’re not alone.
In some situations, bankruptcy is the most viable option for getting your financial situation under control.
But have you ever wondered how to remove bankruptcy from your credit report? Here are some proven methods.
Important: This article discusses DIY methods. If you don’t have the time or patience to work on your credit, we highly recommend you seek professional help from our #1 recommended credit repair partner, Credit Saint.
How Long Will A Bankruptcy Stay On My Credit Report?
How long does a bankruptcy stay on your credit report? Well, it depends on the type of bankruptcy filed, but between 7 and 10 years.
I probably don’t have to spell out that this is bad news for your credit score. The impact lessens over time, but the first few years following a bankruptcy can be rough.
Before you go down a rabbit hole googling things like “Can Lexington Law remove bankruptcy?”, let me clarify something:
You can’t magically delete a legitimate bankruptcy from your credit report. (If it’s showing in error, that’s a different situation—more on that later).
The good news?
There are a few things you can do to minimize the blow and rescue your credit score.
Minimizing The Impact Of Bankruptcy On Your Credit Report
Hook Yourself Up with a Secured Credit Card
Wondering how to remove the effects of bankruptcy from your credit report early? Adding a credit card can help, provided that you:
- Always pay it on time
- Keep your credit utilization low
Using a credit card responsibly will help boost your credit score, minimizing the impact of bankruptcy.
That sounds great, but there’s one little problem: you can’t get approved for a credit card. Or can you?
A secured credit card is just what you’re looking for.
It works the same way as a regular credit card, except you’re not actually borrowing money. You give the issuer a refundable security deposit, and they give you a credit card for the same amount.
They don’t care if you have bad credit, because there’s no risk involved.
Be Careful! Don’t Apply for any new credit when bankruptcy hits your report.
If you don’t pay your bill, they can use your security deposit to pay your balance.
The issuer reports your account activity to the credit bureaus every month, just like a normal credit card.
If you always pay it on time and keep your balance low, it’ll have a positive impact on your credit score.
OpenSky® Secured Visa® is a flexible option that lets you secure a limit between $200 and $3,000. No credit check is required!
Quick Tip: Usually you have to wait 2 years from bankruptcy before you can apply for a home.
Buy Yourself A Present: An Authorized User Tradeline
Did you know that if you piggyback on someone else’s account as an authorized user, their account history and activity can affect your credit score?
Yup, even if you never use the authorized user card, their account shows up as a tradeline on your credit report and influences your score.
Do you see the golden opportunity here?
Find someone who’s very responsible with their credit card, has a large limit, and has had it opened for ages.
And then convince them to add you as an authorized user.
It’s kind of a lot to ask. So, what if no one close to you fits the bill?
There’s another solution: you can buy an authorized user tradeline!
I know it sounds crazy, but hear me out.
Quick Tip: It can take up to 30 days before you see the tradeline hit your credit report and up to 60 days before you see its true effect.
Every tradeline you buy from Tradeline Supply Company has a perfect payment history and credit utilization of 15% or less.
The best (and most expensive) tradelines are ones that have been opened for a long time and have a high credit limit. These have the largest impact on your score.
Moral of the story?
You can pad your credit report and boost your credit score by buying authorized user tradelines.
Remember, anything you can do to improve your credit score helps reduce the negative impact of a bankruptcy.
Take Matters Into Your Own Hands With a Credit Builder Loan
Ok, so say you’ve got your secured credit card. Great job!
You’ve purchased an authorized user tradeline—smart move.
What else can you do to salvage your credit score post-bankruptcy?
A credit builder loan can help you establish a strong payment history.
Here’s how it works:
- You and the lender agree on a loan amount and a term.
- You pay a small deposit to get the ball rolling, and the lender stashes it away for you.
- You make regular monthly payments for the term, and the lender saves up those payments.
- The lender reports your payments to the three credit bureaus.
- When the term is up and you’ve paid the agreed upon amount, you get your money back, less any interest or fees.
If you’re ready to take action, we recommend Self. They have an easy online application process with no credit checks required.
Review Your Credit Report On the Regular
Everything we’ve discussed so far applies to people with legitimate bankruptcies on their credit reports.
In those situations, you can’t erase a bankruptcy, just take steps to minimize its impact.
But we know credit reporting errors are pretty common.
I’m willing to bet there are people walking among us with a bankruptcy on their credit report that doesn’t belong to them.
Talk about a kick in the face!
There are also people still being plagued by old bankruptcies that should have fallen off their reports already.
Protect your credit score by regularly reviewing your report for inaccuracies.
If you find something sketchy that you don’t think should be there, you’ll need to dispute that record on your credit report.
You can’t snap your fingers and erase a bankruptcy.
But a secured credit card, authorized user tradeline, and credit builder loan can help boost your credit score and minimize the impact.
If you’re ready to get serious about rebuilding your credit post-bankruptcy, check out our #1 recommended credit repair company, Credit Saint.