Information on your bankruptcy will remain on your credit file for six years. The official receiver should publicise your discharge or you should send CallCredit, Equifax and Experian a certificate of discharge so that your credit file can be updated.

It may still be possible to get credit after you have been discharged from bankruptcy. Not all lenders use the same lending criteria; some may decline you but others may offer you credit at higher interest rates.

How to improve your credit record

While you cannot remove the listing from your credit record, you can work towards improving your credit profile. This could increase the chance of you being accepted for credit and that lenders and insurers offer you the best rates possible.

•    Apply for credit with lenders who are likely to approve your application.
•    Restrict the amount of new debt so that you will afford the repayments.
•    Make sure that your credit report does not reflect inaccuracies.
•    Consider putting a ‘notice of correction’ in your credit file. This note will explain why you got into debt.
•    Speak to credit counsellors about how to budget better.

Your credit record should improve after a few years, as long as you use credit wisely and do not end up with unaffordable levels of debt. Start small and make sure that you pay your balances on time.

What type of credit should discharged bankrupts get?

Get a credit card or a loan from companies that report your payment behaviour to the major credit agencies. Call the issuer to find out whether they send regular updates to the credit agencies before you apply.

Life after bankruptcy

Initially you may struggle but you should be able to learn a few important lessons – living within your means, how to budget, and the real value of money.

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