Mississippi residents sometimes put off pursuing bankruptcy because they believe that filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 petition damages credit ratings for many years, but a Lending Tree study reveals that four out of 10 bankruptcy filers have credit scores of 640 or higher after just one year. The figures also suggest that a few years of careful borrowing can counteract the impact of a bankruptcy.

Bankruptcies appear on credit scores for up to 10 years, but that does not mean that they significantly affect borrowing for this amount of time. Recency is a crucial factor when credit is evaluated, and consumers who avoid falling into the traps that led to their financial problems in the first place can expect to be offered similar interest rates to individuals who have never filed for bankruptcy within a few years.

However, consumers who have filed a bankruptcy petition may be wise to wait at least two years before applying for a major loan. The additional borrowing costs on a $15,000 automobile loan taken out less than a year after a bankruptcy are $2,171 according to the Lending Tree study, but this figure falls to just $799 a year or so later.

Attorneys with debt relief experience may be familiar with the many misunderstandings and myths surrounding bankruptcy, and they could point out to individuals with unmanageable financial situations that their outlooks are unlikely to improve without some sort of action. Attorneys could also explain to their clients that the nation’s bankruptcy laws were written to give consumers the opportunity for a fresh start and not to only protect the interests of lenders.