Filing for Bankruptcy Actually Improves the Credit Scores of Colorado residents

In the worst economic depression in over 70 years (at least in the eyes of most pundits), the numbers of Americans overall and Colorado residents with worsening credit scores are steadily increasing.  More and more of us are deemed by the credit rating agencies, banks and mortgage lenders to be risky borrowers, with a higher likelihood of default.  It is certainly more difficult with a lower credit score to obtain a residential mortgage, car loan or credit card in Colorado, particularly with reasonably favorable terms and with a manageable interest rate and other terms of financing.  As such, eliminating, or even simply reducing, debt becomes much more difficult.

There is no single magic formula to employ to improve a credit score but the most critical point I can stress is to pay off debt.  Prudent financial decision making is recognized by the credit rating agencies with an improving credit score.  To the extent that you can reduce ongoing monthly credit card and car loan payments, your credit score will continue to increase.  (I realize that it’s more difficult to pay off a home mortgage but staying current on the monthly mortgage payment will be another favorable sign towards a better credit score.)

Almost ALL of my clients filing for either chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy ask how the bankruptcy process in Colorado will affect their credit score.  For most of clients, I simply inform them that a lower credit score (while an important consideration) is the least of their concerns, given a very high and suffocating amount of unsecured debt.  

Contrary to popular wisdom, filing for bankruptcy likely will actually improve your credit score in the long run.  It is true that a bankruptcy filing will appear on your credit report for 7-8 years in most cases but the bankruptcy is designed to eliminate most or all unsecured debts such that these same debts do not continue to burden your monthly budget.  As such, you will presumably have more disposable income to begin making regular and timely payments on the secured debt obligations (such as a home or car) you intend to continue, or even those you’re still required to pay (such as student loans).  And regular and timely monthly payments made on any debt translate into a higher overall credit score much sooner than anticipated, often even starting immediately after the bankruptcy filing.

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