Can You Use Credit Cards After Filing For Bankruptcy?

Charlotte Bankruptcy attorney Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Can I get credit after filing personal bankruptcy?”


Some people wonder what the rules are regarding entering into additional debt after filing for bankruptcy protection. Many fear that once they pull the trigger and file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 protection that they will be unable to use credit cards again. While it’s true you may have difficult securing a credit card in the time immediately after filing, that fact has nothing to do with your legal ability to use the cards if you can get them.


Fake Credit Card Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer North Carolina Bankruptcy Filing AttorneyThe rules about entering into debt differ slightly depending on the type of bankruptcy you are filing. If you’re filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy then entering into additional debt can be trickier than in a Chapter 7. That’s because in a Chapter 13 there is rule that relates to additional borrowing. The rule says that while you are operating under a court-ordered repayment plan you must get approval from your bankruptcy trustee before entering into any new debt arrangements. This means buying a car, a home or even agreeing to a new credit card.


In the case of a Chapter 7, there is no waiting limit to use debt. In fact, you are allowed to use a credit card immediately after filing. The problem becomes finding a creditor that is willing to take a chance and extend you a new credit line.


Though there is no legal waiting limit to enter into new debt, there is a kind of private wait time given the harm the bankruptcy does to your credit score. The bankruptcy will appear on your credit report for 10 years and will seriously damage the score for at least the first few years.


This damage to your credit score means that banks and other lenders view you as a credit risk and will either refuse to extend you credit at all or only do so by charging you incredibly high interest rates. In some cases, some banks may be willing to extend credit but only if you are willing to accept a very small initial limit or pay money to get a secured credit card.


Though you may have a hard time getting the credit in the months after filing, it is good to know that there are no legal restrictions on doing so. You can start small, get a secured card or a card with a very small balance, and eventually rebuild your credit score to what it once was. The trick is being patient.


If you find yourself needing the services of a Charlotte, North Carolina bankruptcy attorney, please call the skilled lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find more resources here.  As professionals who are experienced in the bankruptcy arena, our attorneys will provide you with the best advice for your particular situation.


About The Author: 

Bryan 1  Bryan Stone is a Partner with Arnold & Smith, PLLC where he focuses his practice on all aspects of bankruptcy, including: Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 13, home loan modifications and landlord tenant issues.  Originally from Macon Georgia, Mr. Stone attended the University of Georgia for a BBA in Banking and Finance and went on to Wake Forest to earn his law degree.  After law school Mr. Stone relocated to Charlotte where he has become quite involved in many local organizations.  He is currently the Chair of “Bravo!” the young professionals organization of Opera Carolina, he also founded the UGA Alumni Association of Charlotte.  In his spare time he enjoys perfecting his BBQ skills for the annual “Q-City BBQ Championships” and playing softball with the Mecklenburg County Bar Softball League.



“Can I Use My Credit Card After Bankruptcy?,” by Erica Sandberg, published at



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