If you’re considering filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be wondering how long it will stay on your credit report . The answer is that it will remain on your report for seven years from the date you file.
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While a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for up to 10 years, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will only stay on your report for 7 years. This is because a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is seen as a more repayment-focused type of bankruptcy, and so it is not seen as negatively by creditors and lenders.
What is Chapter 13?
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also known as a wage earner’s plan. It enables individuals with a regular income to develop a plan to repay all or part of their debts. Under this type of bankruptcy, debtors propose a repayment plan to make installments to creditors over three to five years. If the court approves the debtor’s repayment plan, creditors are prohibited from taking any further collection action against the debtor. After the debtor completes all payments under the plan, the court will grant a discharge of the debts that remain unpaid.
The Benefits of Chapter 13
Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows debtors to restructure their debts and repay them over a three- to five-year period. Under a Chapter 13 plan, filers must make regular payments to a trustee, who then uses those funds to pay creditors according to the terms of the plan.
One of the biggest benefits of Chapter 13 is that it can remove the stress and burden of unmanageable debt. In addition, Chapter 13 may help filers keep their homes and vehicles by allowing them to catch up on past-due payments over time. Although Chapter 13 stays on your credit report for seven years, it may be worth considering if you are struggling to repay your debts.
How Long Does Chapter 13 Stay on Your Credit?
Chapter 13 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for seven years from the filing date. This is shorter than the 10-year mark for Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 bankruptcies, but it’s still a significant amount of time.
That said, the impact of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy on your credit score will lessen over time. That’s because as time goes by, the incident will account for less and less of your credit history. And as other positive information (on-time payments, for example) builds up, your score will gradually improve.
Steps to Improve Your Credit Score After Chapter 13
Once you’ve completed your Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can begin to take steps that will help improve your credit score. While a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for seven years, you can begin to improve your credit score almost immediately after your bankruptcy is discharged.
Start by getting a copy of your credit report and making sure that all the information is accurate. If there are any mistakes, dispute them with the credit bureau. Then, start paying all your bills on time. If you have any delinquent accounts, try to negotiate with the creditors to have them removed from your report. You should also try to keep your credit card balances low and only apply for new credit when absolutely necessary.
With time and effort, you can improve your credit score after a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and eventually qualify for the best interest rates and loan terms.
While a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for seven years, it will generally have less of an impact as time goes on. That’s because, as you make timely payments under the repayment plan, your credit score will gradually improve. And, once you have completed the repayment plan and received a discharge, you can start working on rebuilding your credit.