(Los Angeles Times, by Liz Weston 10/30/15 & InForum,) Q: How do you repair credit scores after filing for bankruptcy? My husband and I are in this situation and are looking to re-establish credit and increase our credit score. Also, how long do closed accounts appear on the credit report?
A: Filing for bankruptcy may have actually helped your scores. Researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia found scores typically plunged in the 18 months before people filed for bankruptcy and rose steadily afterward. The average credit score before someone filed Chapter 7 was 538.2 on Equifax’s 280-to-850 scoring range. By the time filers’ cases were discharged, their average score was 620.3.
Get a secured credit card or a loan with a credit-builder loan. Typically you deposit money ($200 to $500) into an account from which you can borrow or use the credit card. Normally these payments will be listed on your credit report. Make sure to ask the bank or credit card company if they report this type of secured debt on the credit report.
“You should use the card lightly but regularly, being careful not to charge more than about 30 percent of its credit limit and paying the balance in full each month.”