Can You File Bankruptcy On Credit Cards?

In this article we are going to talk about Can You File Bankruptcy On Credit Cards? Are you facing overwhelming credit card debt and feeling trapped in financial difficulties?

If this resonates with you, you may be contemplating whether bankruptcy is a viable solution.

Bankruptcy is a legal procedure designed to alleviate some or all of your debts, including those from credit cards.

However, it comes with significant repercussions, such as adverse effects on your credit score and restricted access to credit for an extended period.

In this article, we will check on the advantages and disadvantages of opting for bankruptcy to address credit card debt, explore the types of bankruptcy that may be beneficial, and discuss alternative options to consider before reaching a decision.

By the conclusion of this piece, you will gain a clearer insight into whether bankruptcy aligns with your needs and how to navigate your next financial steps.

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Bankruptcy is a legal procedure designed to alleviate some or all of your debts, including those from credit cards.

Credit Cards In Bankruptcy

Discovering the right solution for credit card debt involves understanding the two primary types of personal bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 wipes out most debts, including credit card balances, but entails selling some assets to settle with creditors.

On the other hand, Chapter 13 restructures debts, allowing you to retain assets, yet requiring monthly payments to creditors over three to five years.

Keep in mind that declaring bankruptcy means parting ways with credit cards unless they hold no personal liability, like company-issued cards. In the bankruptcy paperwork, you must list all your credit cards, even those with zero balances, leading to likely account cancellations by notified creditors.

During the bankruptcy process, applying for new credit cards is off-limits without court approval.

However, once your bankruptcy is discharged, you may qualify for credit cards tailored for poor or bad credit, such as secured or subprime cards.

While these cards may have high-interest rates and fees, using them responsibly and paying on time aids in rebuilding your credit.

It’s crucial to note that bankruptcy can adversely impact your credit score for years.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on your report for a decade, and a Chapter 13 lingers for seven years, potentially lowering your score by 100 to 200 points or more.

This could pose challenges in qualifying for loans, mortgages, insurance, and other financial products.

Yet, bankruptcy isn’t the sole recourse for tackling credit card debt.

Exploring alternatives like negotiating lower interest rates, payment plans, debt settlements, or consolidating debts with a personal loan or balance transfer card is advisable. Weighing the pros and cons of each option and seeking professional advice before deciding is crucial for a well-informed choice.

Filing Bankruptcy For Credit Card Debt

Pros of Filing Bankruptcy for Credit Card Debt:

  1. Debt Discharge: Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate most, if not all, of your unsecured debts, offering substantial financial relief and a fresh start.
  2. Stop Creditor Harassment: Filing bankruptcy triggers an automatic stay on creditor collection activities, providing respite from calls, lawsuits, and wage garnishment.
  3. Stress Reduction: Bankruptcy offers a path to escape the overwhelming burden of debt, promoting mental and emotional well-being.

Cons of Filing Bankruptcy for Credit Card Debt:

  1. Credit Score Impact: Bankruptcy remains on your credit report for a significant duration, affecting your borrowing capabilities and access to certain services.
  2. Loss of Assets: Chapter 7 bankruptcy may require selling non-exempt assets to satisfy creditors, although this is rare.
  3. Potential Legal Fees: Engaging a bankruptcy attorney, while recommended, adds to the overall cost of filing.
  4. Emotional Stress: The bankruptcy process can be emotionally taxing, involving ongoing paperwork and court appearances.

Consideration Factors Before Deciding:

  1. Severity of Debt: Assess whether your credit card debt is overwhelming and unmanageable without intervention.
  2. Explore Alternatives: Have you investigated other relief options like debt consolidation, credit counseling, or debt settlement?
  3. Future Impact: Are you prepared for the long-term repercussions on your credit score and borrowing ability?
  4. Legal Advice: Seek guidance from a qualified bankruptcy attorney to understand your unique situation and explore available options.

What Bankruptcy Can Mean For Your Credit

Credit Report Consequences

Bankruptcy’s presence on your credit report spans 7-10 years, with Chapter 7 lasting a decade and Chapter 13 persisting for 7 years post-discharge. Credit Score Reduction:

Your credit score is significantly impacted, commonly dropping 100-200 points for average scores. Lender Apprehensions:

Lenders see bankruptcy as a warning sign, raising doubts about your creditworthiness and making it harder to qualify for loans, credit cards, and other credit forms. Impact on Borrowing:

Loan Approval Challenges

Securing loans becomes difficult as lenders are more inclined to reject applications or provide less favorable terms, such as higher interest rates. Elevated Deposits:

Renters and utility providers may demand larger security deposits due to perceived credit risks. Restricted Access:

Certain services, employers, professional licenses, and insurance companies might impose restrictions or higher premiums in response to a bankruptcy record. Duration of Influence:

Gradual Decline

Although bankruptcy initially wields a considerable impact, its negative influence lessens over time as positive credit behavior accumulates. Positive Credit Building:

Adopting responsible credit habits, including timely payments and maintaining low credit utilization, aids in mitigating the long-term effects of bankruptcy. Considerations Beyond Credit:

Emotional Toll

The bankruptcy process, involving paperwork, court appearances, and interactions with creditors, can be emotionally taxing. Explore Alternatives:

Before resorting to bankruptcy, explore alternative debt relief avenues like debt consolidation, credit counseling, or debt settlement.

What Happens To Credit Card Debt During Bankruptcy

Credit card debt, often categorized as unsecured debt without collateral, finds resolution in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a prevalent choice among individuals.

In this process, certain assets may be sold to settle creditor claims, ultimately wiping out any remaining credit card debt.

Alternatively, Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers a three-to-five-year repayment plan.

Monthly payments to creditors, prioritizing secured and priority debts like mortgages and taxes, precede addressing unsecured credit card debt.

Only if disposable income permits, the latter is settled at the plan’s conclusion.

Despite these options, not all credit card debt is dischargeable in bankruptcy.

Exceptions include debt linked to fraudulent activities, such as misrepresented applications or stolen card usage.

Additionally, debts incurred 90 days before filing or cash advances within 70 days may be challenged as fraudulent unless proven essential for living expenses.

Rarely, credit card debt secured by collateral demands specific actions post-bankruptcy, such as surrendering the asset or reaffirming the debt with continued payments.

Be aware that fraud suspicions and timelines may complicate the discharge process, emphasizing the importance of honest dealings throughout.

Bankruptcy For Credit Card Debt: is it a good idea?


Bankruptcy provides a respite from creditors through an automatic stay, shielding you from debt collection, foreclosure, eviction, and car repossession during the bankruptcy process.

Furthermore, bankruptcy safeguards your future wages, as earnings post-filing are excluded from the bankruptcy estate, preventing creditors from garnishing them to repay discharged debts.

Additionally, by eliminating or reducing credit card debt, bankruptcy can enhance your debt-to-income ratio, making it easier to qualify for future loans and financial products.


Despite its advantages, bankruptcy has drawbacks, notably its impact on your credit score.

Expect a potential drop of 100 to 200 points or more, with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy lingering on your credit report for 10 years and a Chapter 13 for seven years.

This lower credit score may pose challenges in securing favorable terms for credit cards, loans, mortgages, and insurance.

Furthermore, bankruptcy imposes restrictions on accessing new credit cards during the process, requiring court approval for any applications.

Even after discharge, if you seek credit cards for poor or bad credit, be cautious, as these often come with high-interest rates, low credit limits, and fees.

Responsible use is crucial for credit rebuilding.

Lastly, bankruptcy might not discharge all credit card debt.

Certain debts, like those incurred through fraud, within 90 days of filing, or secured by collateral, may persist post-bankruptcy, necessitating payment or risking asset loss and legal action.

Careful consideration of these factors is essential before opting for bankruptcy.

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