How Long Does a Bankruptcy Stay on My Record?

By Cara O'Neill, Attorney
Find out how long a bankruptcy will remain on your credit report.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for up to ten years. If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the period isn’t quite as long. Expect it to show up for seven years after completing your three- to five-year repayment plan. Even though the bankruptcy notation will stay for a lengthy period, the effect of the bankruptcy will diminish with time.

You can begin rebuilding your credit once the bankruptcy closes. In fact, you’ll likely be offered a credit card soon after receiving your discharge (the order that wipes out eligible debt, such as credit card balances, personal loans, and medical bills). If you keep your balance low and make timely payments, your score will steadily improve. When you’re ready, you might want to add a manageable car payment because a balanced mix of credit—the type reporting agencies find most people have—will help your overall score, as well.

Also, it’s important to keep your credit report free of errors—and it’s easy to do. After your bankruptcy closes, it’s a good idea to check your credit report for accuracy by requesting a free copy from each agency (you’re entitled to a free report every year). You can get yours by visiting

If the report contains incorrect information, you can remove it by filing a challenge online. Just visit the appropriate dispute page or click on a link below:

If you’re unable to resolve your dispute, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or contact your state’s consumer protection agency.

Go to the main bankruptcy FAQ page.

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