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How bankruptcy affects me

Bankruptcy and my credit rating

Bankruptcy stays on your credit file for at least six years. This can make it hard to get credit, loans or a mortgage.

The rules around debt relief orders (DRO) have changed. A DRO may now be an option for more people.

Your credit file shows information about your credit use in the past six years.

Lenders look at your credit file to know:

  1. Any defaults on your accounts
  2. Any late payments
  3. Whether they think you can pay back the money you borrow

Bankruptcy usually lasts for 12 months. It stays on your credit file for six years.

  • This starts from the date your bankruptcy begins
  • You might find it hard to get credit during this time

Improve your credit score after bankruptcy by using credit you can afford. Find out more about credit scores.

It may be hard to find a mortgage or new rental home during your bankruptcy.

This is because:

  • Lenders and landlords do credit checks
  • They may also ask if you have been bankrupt in the past
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How long does bankruptcy appear on my credit file?

Bankruptcy lasts a year but appears on your credit file for six years.

This is because:

  • Accounts appear on your credit file for six years from when they default
  • The default date on accounts should be before your bankruptcy
  • The debts then drop off your credit file after six years

Complain if any of the people you owe set default dates after your bankruptcy order. Ask them to correct it.

The only time this should happen is if your official receiver decides you have acted:

  • Negligently, or
  • Dishonestly
  • Either before or during your bankruptcy

The OR then sets a ‘bankruptcy restriction undertaking’ (BRU) or order (BRO).

  • This extends your bankruptcy restrictions for up to 15 years
  • The bankruptcy stays on your credit file until the BRU or BRO ends
  • Extending restrictions beyond six years is not common

Can you get credit during bankruptcy?

You must tell the lender you are bankrupt if you try to take out credit:

  • Over £500
  • In the first 12 months of your bankruptcy

Most lenders will either:

  • Refuse you credit or
  • Charge a higher rate of interest

You may also find it hard to get credit after bankruptcy.