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ericaw55

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How can I improve my credit after filing chapter 7?
This was a year ago. I have a job and 2 credit cards as well as a car note. I always over pay. I try to not use the card. i maintain a low balance on it and don't use the other card at all. How long till my credit improves?

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It really depends on your credit score and payment history before you file as well as what you do after.  We filed Chap 7 bk seven years ago.  We did it when the ecomony went to **** and we could no longer afford the payments on one luxury item.  The lender was unwilling to work with us and said that if they repoed the item they would auction it and come after us for the difference which was going to be around $60k.  Up until that time we had perfect credit and payment history, both over 800 FICO scores.  We barely squeaked in to the requirements for Chap 7 which required my wife to basically work part time for 6 months to get her income down to a level that was acceptable.  The only thing we came out of BK with was two cars and our home.  Seven years later our scores are in the mid to high 700s and even immediately after the BK we didn't see a terrible drop, maybe into the 650 range.  We were able to secure several small car loans since, a few credit cards and we refinanced our home three years ago to a great rate.  One thing we realized after filing is that it doesn't really matter what our credit score is now because we're not willing to finance anything we can't afford.  We no longer carry balances on any credit cards from month to month, we have three paid off cars and our home will be paid off in 5 years.  When I tell my wife what her credit score is she says "Who cares?"  BK was a real eye opener for us, it taught us to only buy what we can afford and take into account the worst case scenario for that purchase (losing a job, repair costs, injury, illness, etc).

So I guess long story short, worry about your credit score but understanding how and when to use credit is a much more valuable lesson.

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Please re-read the articles on this site since Credit Karma's purpose is to teach people how credit works and what must be done to build and maintain a good credit score. This is something we are not taught elsewhere, unfortunately.  I have built my score thanks to this education.

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