Our Bankruptcy Blog

The Impact of Bankruptcy on Acquiring Loans and Credit Cards

Bankruptcy is a complex process that can offer significant relief to those burdened by insurmountable debt. Navigating the intricacies of bankruptcy can be an overwhelming process, particularly due to its potential profound impact on personal finances.

One of the most significant concerns for individuals considering this route is understanding the implications on their future borrowing capabilities, specifically the ability to secure loans or obtain credit cards.

Bankruptcy, while offering temporary relief from overwhelming debt, may carry the burden of a temporarily impaired credit profile.

Understanding the challenges is the first step towards mitigating the impacts and effectively managing the journey towards financial recovery. The aim is to make an informed decision about bankruptcy, fully aware of the challenges that lie ahead and prepared to tackle them effectively.


Bankruptcy and Credit Score

One’s credit score is a primary concern of most lenders. Filing for bankruptcy can significantly impact your credit score, and it depends on how high your score was before filing.

Higher scores tend to fall more drastically. This negative effect is because a bankruptcy filing suggests you were unable to fulfill your debt obligations, making you a riskier prospect to lenders.

During this period, obtaining new credit or loans might be more challenging, and you may face higher interest rates due to the increased risk perceived by lenders.

However, the impact of bankruptcy on your credit score decreases over time, especially if you work proactively to rebuild your credit. This can be achieved by making timely payments on any remaining or new debts, maintaining a low credit utilization ratio, and demonstrating overall responsible financial behavior.

Despite the initial setback, filing for bankruptcy can sometimes be the first step toward rebuilding and improving your financial health.


Obtaining Loans Post-Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy can make obtaining loans more challenging, but not impossible. Many lenders may be hesitant to extend credit to someone who has recently filed for bankruptcy, and those who are willing to lend may do so at higher interest rates and less favorable terms.

  • Mortgage Loans: Acquiring a mortgage loan after bankruptcy can be particularly challenging. Lenders usually require a waiting period (known as the “seasoning period”) after bankruptcy discharge before considering a mortgage loan application. This period can range from two to four years, depending on the type of bankruptcy filed and the loan type.
  • Auto Loans: While more accessible than mortgage loans post-bankruptcy, auto loans may come with higher interest rates and require a more substantial down payment.
  • Personal Loans: These are typically unsecured loans, which can be harder to obtain post-bankruptcy. If granted, expect them to carry high interest rates.


Obtaining loans after bankruptcy


Credit Cards After Bankruptcy

Obtaining a credit card after bankruptcy might seem challenging, but there are a few options:

  • Secured Credit Cards: These cards require a security deposit, which serves as your credit limit. They are designed for people rebuilding their credit and are more likely to approve those with a bankruptcy.
  • Retail or Gas Credit Cards: These cards often have less stringent credit requirements but come with high interest rates and should be used responsibly.
  • Co-Signer or Authorized User: If someone is willing to co-sign a credit card application or add you as an authorized user on their account, it can help rebuild your credit. However, this puts the co-signer’s credit at risk.


Rebuilding Credit Post-Bankruptcy

Though bankruptcy can seem like a significant setback, it’s essential to remember that its impact on your credit decreases over time, and proactive steps can hasten credit recovery:

  • Regularly Monitor Your Credit: Errors are not uncommon on credit reports. Ensuring all discharged debts are correctly reported can help improve your credit score.
  • Timely Bill Payments: Paying bills on time and in full can show future lenders that you’re a responsible borrower.
  • Financial Management: Maintaining a budget, building an emergency fund, and keeping debt levels low can prevent future financial crises and show lenders your commitment to financial responsibility.
  • Credit Counseling: Consider seeking help from a reputable credit counseling agency that can provide guidance on managing money and debts, devising a budget, and accessing free educational materials and workshops.


Bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for seven to ten years, affecting your ability to obtain loans or credit cards during that time.

However, it’s essential to remember that financial recovery is an achievable goal, and with time and effort, you can rebuild your credit and regain financial stability.

Consider bankruptcy not as the end of your financial story, but as a new chapter – one of recovery and rebuilding.


stopping car reposession with bankruptcy


Hiring an Experienced Bankruptcy Lawyer

It’s important to hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney as one of the steps to take when you’re facing bankruptcy and you need solid guidance and representation.

This is because there are many different types of bankruptcy. Only an experienced lawyer will know which one would work best for your specific situation.

It might seem like it makes sense to do this yourself. But most people don’t have the time or patience to understand all of the intricate details involved in bankruptcy.

That means they make mistakes by not choosing the right type, or by not filling out paperwork correctly. Both things could lead to delays and ultimately hurt your chances of getting any debt relief at all.

This is not a journey to take lightly, but it is also not one to take alone. If you need to file for bankruptcy, reach out to us today to start your journey with us.

If you want to learn more about the options you have and the steps to take, call us for a free consultation.


Rebuilding credit after bankruptcy? Parker & DeFresne can help!

Parker and DuFresne

Parker and DuFresne