BACK

Credit Smart

Credit card after bankruptcy

Summary

Declared bankruptcy? Learn about how to apply for damaged or no credit credit cards.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired. Please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

Consumers who have declared bankruptcy may still need a credit card.  Although a bankruptcy filing will appear on your credit report for up to 10 years, this does not mean you necessarily will have to spend a decade plastic-less. (See updated story:Can you get a credit card after bankruptcy?“)

Following a bankruptcy, the length of time until you get approved for a credit card is up to each individual issuer.  Whether you get approved or denied for a credit card (along with issues of credit quality and your credit limit) are entirely up to the banks that issue credit cards.  As a result, it is possible that you could be approved for a credit card soon after declaring bankruptcy, but it depends on the issuer.

Still, it is likely that any credit card you are approved for will carry a high interest rate and a very low credit limit, based on the credit risk you appear to present to lenders.  Various credit cards for people with bad credit may charge an annual fee, as well.  But if you want to begin repairing a damaged credit history, responsible use of a credit card could go a long way toward accomplishing that goal.

Get your spending under control.  Once you are approved for a credit card, be sure that you use it carefully, perhaps only charging for things like gas and groceries rather than making unnecessary purchases with plastic.  As someone who has declared bankruptcy, you should make every effort to pay monthly credit card statements in full so that you don’t end up back in debt.

Another payment card option for people who may have had suffered from bankruptcy woes comes in the form of prepaid debit cards. These cards allow the user to only spend up to the total they have deposited in advance onto the card, making prepaid cards an excellent choice for consumers that are looking to control their spending.

Regardless of which type of card you choose, avoid applying for too many cards at the same time.  Multiple credit card applications make you appear desperate for credit and can hurt your credit score.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

What’s up next?

In Credit Smart

Credit card loss problems plague Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton is known to leave her credit cards behind in stores, but there are steps she (and other consumers) can take to avoid becoming the victim of unauthorized credit card charges.

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: July 2nd, 2020
Business
13.91%
Airline
15.48%
Cash Back
16.09%
Reward
15.82%
Student
16.12%

Questions or comments?

Contact us

Editorial corrections policies

Learn more

Join the Discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The editorial content on CreditCards.com is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company’s business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.