How To Remove A Bankruptcy From Your Credit Report

Filing for bankruptcy can negatively impact your credit history, making it difficult to access new credit or renegotiate existing debt that wasn't discharged. However, if your circumstances meet certain criteria, you may be able to eliminate the bankruptcy from your credit report. While the record will generally be removed automatically after a certain amount of time, you may need to take additional action to have it removed sooner. Here are the steps you should follow.

Can you remove a bankruptcy from your credit report?
How to remove bankruptcy from your credit report
How long does bankruptcy stay on the credit report?
Does removing bankruptcy increase credit score?
How to remove bankruptcy from credit report FAQs
Summary of our guide on how to remove bankruptcy from credit report

Can you remove a bankruptcy from your credit report?

It is possible to eliminate a bankruptcy from your credit report if certain conditions are met. Normally, a bankruptcy remains on your credit report for seven to ten years, which is comparable to the duration that negative data usually remains on your credit report (roughly seven years).

If you want to erase the bankruptcy before the seven or ten years are up, you will need to show that the bankruptcy was mistakenly placed on your report or that it has remained on your credit report beyond the legal time frame established by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

How to remove a bankruptcy from your credit report

You can find bankruptcies in the public records section of your credit report, where credit bureaus started reporting them around 2018. If you want to remove a bankruptcy from your credit report, there are only two situations in which you can do so:

  1. if the information is incorrect (i.e., mistaken identity, already discharged, etc.); or
  2. or if the bankruptcy is old enough to be removed.

You can dispute incorrect bankruptcy information with the credit bureau by filing a dispute by phone, online, or by mail. The credit bureau then has up to 30 days to respond to your dispute. If the information is found to be incorrect or cannot be verified, the credit bureau must correct or remove it.

If you have negative information from a bankruptcy on your credit report, you can dispute the specific accounts in question. Experian's dispute form includes a section where you can dispute a negative item that was part of a bankruptcy. You can provide details about the type of bankruptcy case and the filing date on this form.

If the credit bureau doesn't accept your dispute and remove the bankruptcy information, you can file another dispute with a different reason or more evidence to support your dispute.

What is the duration of bankruptcy on your credit report?

There are two types of bankruptcies, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. For Chapter 7 bankruptcy, where you are not required to repay your debts, it will stay on your credit report for a maximum of 10 years. Whereas, for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, where you have to pay some portion of your debt obligations, the record stays on your credit report for seven years.

Can your credit score increase by removing a bankruptcy?

It's widely believed that removing a bankruptcy from your credit report can increase your credit score, but it's unclear by how much. If filing for bankruptcy helped to eliminate some past-due accounts and improve your debt-to-income ratio, you may have already seen an increase in your score.

If you have invested in credit repair services or have taken steps to build a positive credit history while the bankruptcy was still on your record, you may see a small or significant increase in your credit score when the bankruptcy is removed. However, if your credit score remained low during the seven to ten years that the bankruptcy was on your credit report, it could take more time for your score to recover, particularly if it's been a while since you had any positive credit activity.

Although it's impossible to determine precisely how much removing a bankruptcy can boost your credit score, you should still make sound financial decisions and be proactive about your credit health, even if you currently have an active bankruptcy on your credit profile.

How to remove a bankruptcy from your credit report FAQs

There's no way to determine exactly how much your credit score will improve once a bankruptcy is removed from your credit report. How much your score improves will depend on multiple factors, such as your utilization ratio, payment history, credit mix, length of credit history and new credit.

You can dispute incorrect information on your credit report for free. There are services that you can pay for if you need help, but it is something you could also do on your own.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy drops off your credit after ten years, while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy drops off your credit report after seven years.

A bankruptcy will drop off your credit after ten years under Chapter 7 or seven years under Chapter 13. If the bankruptcy stays on your credit report beyond that time, you can file a dispute with the credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, to get it removed.

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you don't have to pay back any debt included in the bankruptcy, and it will stay on your credit report for up to ten years. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy stays on your credit for seven years and allows you to keep some assets like your home and vehicle, but you will be responsible for paying some creditors back.

Summary of our guide on how to remove bankruptcy from your credit report

Our guide explains that removing bankruptcy from your credit report is only feasible in certain circumstances, such as proving that the information is incorrect. If a dispute with the credit bureau is unsuccessful, you may have to wait for the bankruptcy record to be removed after the standard seven or ten-year period.

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