If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, you may wonder, “How long is bankruptcy reported on a person’s credit?” We decided to dedicate a post to this because most bankruptcy filers have this question. When a debtor files for bankruptcy, the bankruptcy itself is reported on their credit for 10 years; however, only the public record of the bankruptcy is reported for 10 years.
Any other reference to bankruptcy, such as collections, judgements, and tax liens that are discharged through bankruptcy are only reported for 7 years. The good news is that following the bankruptcy discharge, the lingering negative marks (e.g. collections and charge offs) fall off the debtor’s credit report within 7 years, diminishing the negative impact with the passage of time.
Reporting Discharged Debts
As we mentioned above, the actual bankruptcy filing is reported for 10 years. While a lot of debtors get nervous about this, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. To potential creditors, the fact that the discharge wiped out and cleaned up debts means that old creditors are prohibited from reporting them as unpaid or delinquent. Once a debt is discharged through bankruptcy, the creditor is required to report the discharged debt as:
- Included in bankruptcy
- Has a zero balance
When a debt has been formally discharged through bankruptcy, the creditor is prohibited from reporting it as: charged off, active, currently owed, late, delinquent, outstanding, having a balance that is due, or having a new account number.
If a discharged debt is reported in any of these ways, it can negatively impact your credit score, and you could be denied credit or a new loan. That said, it’s important to check your credit report 30 to 60 days after the discharge for accuracy. To check your credit, we recommend ordering a copy from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus, including Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.