Your credit score may decrease immediately after filing for bankruptcy, but most individuals have higher credit scores just a few months after receiving their bankruptcy discharge than they had prior to filing for bankruptcy. Once your bankruptcy is completed, you can turn the situation around through a strategy that builds your credit back up.
It is essential to check your credit about 3 months after your discharge to make sure that all debts discharged in your bankruptcy reflect zero ($0) balances on your credit report (the discharge of debt changes your debt ratio, which is an important factor in a credit score). Bankruptcy discharge eliminates your debts and should result in deleting all discharged liabilities from your credit report, but you must take active steps to verify it and correct any mistakes if necessary. Each person is entitled by law to one free copy of a credit report and it is available at AnnualCreditReport.com.
If your credit report after bankruptcy incorrectly reflects any discharged debts as active collections or outstanding liabilities or if it contains any other errors or discrepancies, it is very important that you request in writing from all 3 credit bureaus that they make appropriate corrections.
- Equifax, P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241; Tel. (800) 685-1111
- Experian, P.O. Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013; Tel. (888) 397-3742
- Trans Union, P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022; Tel. (888) 916-8800
In addition to detailed information regarding your request and any documents you can submit to substantiate it, your request to the credit bureaus should include your full legal name, your current address, your social security number, your date of birth and your signature. The credit bureaus have to investigate the disputed information and inform you in writing of its outcome within 30 days of your request.
Click here to download a sample letter for disputing your credit report.
Other than by making sure that your credit information is correct, you generally rebuild your credit rating by getting and using credit. To that end, obtaining credit cards, auto loans or lines of credit, using them responsibly and making regular timely payments on them when due will go a long way in rebuilding your credit in a relatively short period of time.