My firm has filed thousands of Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases for families in Southern California.

One of the big concerns that my clients have is how I can reaccess credit after the bankruptcy court wipes out my debts. 

Follow these steps to rebuild your FICO score after bankruptcy

Time and again, we sit in my office, and the issue comes up.

Will I be able to get credit after filing for bankruptcy?

How can I rebuild my credit after filing for bankruptcy?

While it may seem daunting to rebuild credit after bankruptcy, I have seen many families do it, here’s how.

Rebuilding Your FICO Score after chapter 7 – Steps to Take

Rebuilding your credit score, otherwise known as a FICO score, is important and as your credit score improves it will allow access to new credit. There are steps you can take to rebuild a credit score after a discharge in bankruptcy. Some of the steps you should take include:

Rebuilding credit after chapter 7 bankruptcy

  1. Review your credit reports in detail

    Reviewing your credit reports to be sure that all listings are accurate, your credit card accounts should reflect zero balances. Credit card debt is wiped out by filing bankruptcy. Make sure this is noted on your credit report.

  2. Write letters to each credit reporting agency

    Writing letters to each of the credit reporting agencies explaining the circumstances that led to your decision to file bankruptcy.

  3. Use credit cautiously

    After a chapter 7 bankruptcy, you have a clean slate, use it wisely. One of the traps I have seen former clients fall into is using payday loans. If you want to rebuild credit after a personal bankruptcy, stay away from payday loans. .

  4. Get help from family

    Find a friend or relative to co-sign on a small loan and pay it on time. Each on-time payment you make will help to rebuild credit. Often called a “credit-builder loan,” these loans are designed to help you build credit by making small monthly payments. They can be a good option if you don’t qualify for a traditional loan.

  5. Get a starter credit card or a secured credit card

    Open a credit card account, use it for a small purchase every month, and pay down the balance completely. Another option is a secured credit card. A secured credit card requires a security deposit, but it can be a great way to rebuild your credit. Use it responsibly.

  6. Use common sense

    Live within your means, do not unnecessarily increase your debt to income ratio in order to acquire luxury items.

  7. Be patient

    It can take up to two years for a credit score to inch up after filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy. Take things step by step and enjoy the feeling of being debt free.

Getting a Free Credit Report

While you are rebuilding credit after chapter 7, it is crucial to keep an eye on your report. Check it often for inaccuracies and to ensure your balances show as zero, with nothing owed.

You may review your credit reports, free of charge, three times a year by visiting

If you find any inaccuracies, be sure to dispute them through the dispute resolution process provided by the credit reporting agencies.

Be sure to make payments on all remaining lines of credit promptly, and all rent or mortgage payments should be made on time and by check.

Follow these basic steps and your FICO score will improve.

Read Also: Fruits, Vegetables, Exercise, and…Bankruptcy?

Erik Clark

Erik Clark is one of the leading bankruptcy attorneys in Southern California who has had the privilege of representing thousands of clients in chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy cases in the Los Angeles area. Erik has served as the past President of the National Consumer Bankruptcy Litigation Center (NCBLC) and the American Consumer Bankruptcy College (ACBC). His firm, Borowitz & Clark, is committed to using bankruptcy law as a tool for social justice and was one of the first consumer law firms to join the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance.
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