How will filing bankruptcy affect my credit?

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:35 pm
Filing Chapter Seven bankruptcy will most likely have long-term consequences regarding your credit. First, the fact that you filed will remain on your consumer credit report for up to ten years, and it's one of the most detrimental entries you can have from a creditor's point of view. The reason is that under Chapter Seven, many of your debts are discharged, which means you are, in essence, 'stiffing' the people you owe money. Of course, creditors are going to think twice about extending you credit again, especially unsecured credit. There are ways after Chapter Seven that you can work toward re-establishing credit. One way is to get a loan or credit card that's secured with collateral, either with property or by funds in a bank account. You may have to pay a high rate of interest. To help re-establish your credit, it's a good idea to cultivate the other factors that creditors consider to be positive, such as how long you've been employed and you've lived in one place. Try working with local merchants by agreeing to give them a down payment or have a co-signer. If overspending is what put you into bankruptcy in the first place, rebuilding your credit card accounts may not be such a good idea. Instead, you might want to focus your energies on learning how to create a budget and keep your spending within your means.

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