Credit Denied Due to Bankruptcy Public Record

couple looking at finances together
Dear Experian,

My husband and I had our bankruptcy discharged. We are still getting refusals for any type of credit we have tried to apply for, no matter how small. We have one credit card we have never been late on. It has a limit of only $1,500.00, and we have always paid it off so have not been charged any interest. Our denials all state "due to public record."


Dear BDJ,

The "public record" referred to in the declination notices you received is the public record from the court showing you filed for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy public records remain in a credit report for up to 10 years from the filing date, seven years for Chapter 13 bankruptcies.

The term "discharged" indicates you have completed the requirements of the bankruptcy. The status of the bankruptcy public record should be updated to "discharged," but it will remain on the credit report until the specified time from the filing date has elapsed.

Because bankruptcy indicates very high credit risk for lenders, it may be difficult or even impossible to obtain new credit for months or even years after filing. If you are approved for new credit while the public record remains, you likely will have to pay higher interest rates or fees.

Applying multiple times for credit in a short period of time also can be a sign of risk for lenders, especially after declaring bankruptcy. As time passes, the bankruptcy will represent less risk, and more lenders may be willing to extend new credit to you and your husband.

The best thing to do now is to stop applying for new credit and continue using your open credit card account wisely. Make small purchases from time to time and pay the balance in full. Doing so will build a positive payment history over time that will appear in your report after the bankruptcy is deleted.

Thanks for asking.
The "Ask Experian" team