One of the best things about getting a fresh start by filing bankruptcy is that it allows you a chance to rebuild your credit score. Why? Because the first step in re-building your credit is to get rid of some debt, which is what bankruptcy does best. With less debt, it's easier to keep up-to-date on your remaining obligations, and makes it less likely you will fall behind. However, your credit score won’t improve as long as all your old, negative information is still listed with the credit reporting agencies.
All three major credit reporting agencies collected information about you before your bankruptcy, including balances due, late payments, charge-offs, and judgments. After your discharge, all these debts should be listed on your credit report as “included in BK” with a $0.00 balance. If they are not listed that way, they will appear to still be active accounts in collection status, which could limit your ability to get credit. Unfortunately, not all creditors update information after a bankruptcy discharge.
What Can You Do?
Plenty. A couple of months after your discharge, you should order credit reports to make sure all your discharged debts are listed as being included in your bankruptcy case and show only $0.00 balances. You can contact the three major credit reporting agencies at the following numbers:
Even easier, order your credit report online:
As you will see when you go to any of these websites, you can also order online a 3-in-1 credit report, which includes information from all three of these agencies, for about $29.95 (as of 12/19/04). Here are some other valuable tips to help you rebuild your credit rating after a bankruptcy discharge: