If you file for bankruptcy, your credit score will likely take a hit, but it may not be as devastating as you think, especially if you are already behind on your bills. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for up to 10 years, while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will fall off after seven years, but with each year that passes, the impact of the bankruptcy on your credit is less and less significant. Once your debts are discharged in bankruptcy, you will likely be in a better position to pay your bills and you may be able to begin rebuilding your credit.
Depending on which type of bankruptcy you file, you may or may not be able to get a credit card with a recent bankruptcy on your credit history. If you want to start building up your credit after your bankruptcy is completed, you can apply for a credit card, but you may only qualify for a card with a high interest rate. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be barred from taking on any new credit during your repayment period. There are some exceptions to this rule, however. For instance, if your car lease ends and you need to buy a new car before your Chapter 13 repayment is completed. In this case, your attorney may be able to help you find a lender who is willing to work with a Chapter 13 debtor.