Level 8

Credit score

From what I've read, it first depends on type. The Chapter 13 bankruptcy credit report penalty will last 7 years from the date of final discharge. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy credit report penalty will last 10 years from the date of final discharge. Either way, the “weight” of the filing will decrease over time. So, step 1 is patience (because the Year 1 effect of the filing is worse than the Year 5, etc.). 


Okay, so once you've mastered the mindset piece (I struggle with patience, so this is no small step), step 2 is: ensure the accounts included in your bankruptcy show a zero balance. If any accounts don’t appear as paid, go through credit repair to make disputes so you can have those items removed. This is important - seriously, review the accounts and ensure their balances reflect the bankruptcy. 


Step 3 isn't terribly novel - just start making on-time payments. Religiously. Never miss a payment. No need to open up additional credit lines. No need to do anything out of the ordinary (although a secured card could help demonstrate credit-worthiness if you're so inclined). Just take a long view and start chipping away. 


What was your score pre-filing, what is it now, what's your score goal, and how long would you like it to take?


(related: hang in there!)