Bankruptcy / Experience / Rebuilding Credit Score After Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

My Credit Score Rebuilding Experience After Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Written by Ascend Team
Updated Dec 29th, 2023
This article is for informational purposes only. Ascend does not provide legal advice, and are not attorneys. If you'd like to speak with a bankruptcy attorney that serves your city, you can speak with one in a free consultation.

This is part 8 of 11 of my bankruptcy experience article series.

You may be at a point where you are spending more money than you make each month on bills, including unsecured debt payments. Maybe you have thought about bankruptcy, maybe you have not. Either way, I am going to give you my experience on how I started to rebuild my credit after my bankruptcy. 

Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

My spouse and I filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy in July of 2022. We had exhausted all other options. By the time we got to this decision, we did not care what happened to our credit. We both just wanted relief. 

About ½ way through our bankruptcy (about 45 days in) we both started discussing what options we would have to rebuild credit. We knew that life after bankruptcy was possible, but we did not know all that it entailed. Our primary reason for bankruptcy was a tremendous amount of debt and we wanted to buy a house in the next 5 years. After a chapter 7 bankruptcy you can purchase a home 2 years after discharge if you go FHA and 4 years after bankruptcy if you go conventional

We started doing research on how to rebuild our credit, we found that there would be many opportunities to do so, once the bankruptcy had been discharged. We received our discharge the second week of October, 2022. About a week after our discharge we started getting bombarded with different types of credit offers. Ranging from Payday- type loans, car loans and credit cards. 

A mailer that I received for credit after my bankruptcy

Another example of a loan offer that I got post chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge

Rebuilding Options

We read the fine print on many of them and we discovered that while they were unsecured, the interest rates were atrocious, they had very large annual fees/monthly fees and no rewards. We started looking for better alternatives to those cards. We ended up finding two very good options, both Capital One and Discover had great options for rebuilding credit via a secured card/unsecured card. 

My spouse had a capital one account discharged in his bankruptcy, and I had 3 Discover accounts that I included in mine. We did not anticipate being approved, so instead we switched. My spouse opened a Discover It Secured Card and made me an authorized user, and I did the same with a Capital One Secured Card. Both cards provided decent rewards, and a road map that outlined how to get your security deposit back and graduate to an unsecured card

A screenshot from Discover Card that explains how to get your security deposit back.

We both got our security deposits refunded and upgraded to higher limit cards at month 6/7. Capital One gave me the option to upgrade my card to one of their travel cards, and my spouse’s Discover card, the rewards stayed the same but the limit went from $2500 (initial deposit) to $5500. My Capital One account went from a limit of $1,000.00 (initial security deposit) to a limit of $3,300.00 after 7 months with the upgrade to a travel card. 

Renting After Bankruptcy

I get asked a lot what the process for renting looks like after a bankruptcy. I actually moved right in the middle of it. The only negative implication that I experienced was having to put a full security deposit down, instead of the promotional deposit at the time which I believe was $250. 

Is Bankruptcy Right For Me? 

You may be at a point in your financial life where you are trying to decide what the best route to take to tackle your debt may be. You may be wondering what options are out there? What are the pros and cons of each option? We made it easy for you to decide. Take our Quick Debt Relief Calculator to help you figure out which option is right for you.