How do I improve my credit position after bankruptcy?
Republished with Permission © 2011 Nolo.
I filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy seven years ago. I've been told that it takes ten years for a Chapter 7 to "fall off" your record. Is there anything I can do in the meantime to get a lower rate on my car loan and credit cards?
There are many things you can do to improve your credit. First, get a copy of your credit report and make sure it's accurate. To get lower interest rates, ask your lenders. Your bankruptcy is old enough now that it should carry less weight than it did a few years ago. If you have been making your car and credit card payments on time and your recent credit looks good, your creditors may very well lower the rate.
You might also contact your bank and ask whether you can obtain a personal loan with a lower interest rate than your car loan. Use the money from the bank loan to pay off the car loan. You'll still have to pay the bank loan, of course, but at least you'll have a better interest rate.