Credit Cards after Bankruptcy Discharge


How long does bankruptcy stay on your credit report?

Your bankruptcy will be listed in your credit report which may mean it will be harder for you to get credit. The bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for at least 6 years from the date you were declared bankrupt. This period can be longer if your bankruptcy continues. Once the bankruptcy is removed you will be able to apply for credit.


About bankruptcy discharge

Being discharged from bankruptcy means you are no longer bankrupt. Officially it means you have been released from liability for certain debts by the Official Receiver (OR).


You should know that UK bankruptcy law states that certain debts cannot be automatically written off as part of your bankruptcy discharge. These debts include:

  • Magistrate court fines
  • Maintenance and child support payments
  • Student loans
  • Social fund loans
  • Certain benefits and tax credit overpayments

Bankruptcy discharge – what happens next

If you declare yourself bankrupt, or you’re declared bankrupt, you’ll usually be discharged 12 months from the date the bankruptcy order was made.


The discharge process is automatic and will usually come to an end after a year. However, if you’ve not cooperated and been completely honest with your official receiver (OR) or trustee, or you’ve not acted responsibly during your bankruptcy, it might not end at this time. This is known as a delayed discharge or suspended discharge and can extend your bankruptcy for up to 15 years.


Once you’ve been discharged from your bankruptcy, you’ll be free of some of the financial restrictions imposed by the order, meaning:

  • You can now act as a company director, unless there is another reason why you can’t hold that position.
  • You no longer have to worry about any assets, pay rises, bonus payments or other windfalls being used to pay creditors. An exception to this is any payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling compensation payments, from claims made before your bankruptcy.

It’s worth noting that you won’t be sent confirmation of your bankruptcy discharge, but you can get proof of your discharge by getting a free confirmation letter by calling discharge queries on 0300 678 0015.


Alternatively, you can get a Certificate of Discharge from the court that dealt with your bankruptcy, subject to a £70 fee and a £10 charge for each extra copy. When you have completed a discharge of bankruptcy in UK courts, your details will automatically be removed from the Insolvency Register three months after your discharge. If you want to have your bankruptcy removed from the Land Charges Register, you’ll need to apply to HM Land Registry.


If you want your discharge to show on your credit file, you’ll need to send confirmation to each of the main credit reference agencies - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion - and ask them to update your file. Your bankruptcy will still be visible on your credit file for six years after your bankruptcy’s discharge date, but once your bankruptcy has been discharged, you can start to rebuild your credit file.


Here are some useful next steps for after bankruptcy:

Rebuilding credit after bankruptcy

  • Until you’re discharged from your bankruptcy, you will be unable legally to borrow more than £500 from any lender
  • Once you’re discharged, there’s no legal limit on the amount you can borrow, but you may still be seen as a credit risk by lenders.
  • You might find it difficult to get accepted for loans, credit cards and overdrafts for the six years that the bankruptcy is visible on your credit file.
  • Some lenders will refuse to lend to you altogether
  • Before you apply for any form of credit after bankruptcy, you should make sure your discharge has been included on your credit report
  • You should also check your credit report for any mistakes and get these corrected by telling the relevant credit referencing agency to get them corrected.

How to get credit after bankruptcy

  • Whilst repairing your credit rating after bankruptcy is difficult, it's not impossible.
  • You should follow all the terms of your bankruptcy order while it is in effect and do everything you can to keep up with repayments on any debts it doesn’t cover.
  • A budget planner can help to keep track of your monthly income and outgoings
  • If you think you might have trouble meeting a repayment, speak to your advisor as soon as possible to work out a solution.
  • Once six months have passed since your bankruptcy has been discharged, and assuming you haven't had any problems making your repayments, you are able to apply for credit again
  • The best way to get credit after bankruptcy is to apply for financial products that have been designed for people with bad credit or from lenders who specialise in poor credit loans and credit cards.
  • Ensure you can pay back what you borrow. This is one of the fastest ways to rebuild your credit rating, as it demonstrates that you can borrow and repay within limits.

Vanquis Credit Card for discharged bankruptcy

If you’re looking to rebuild your credit score following a bankruptcy, a Vanquis credit card could help you get started.


How to apply if you’ve been through bankruptcy

See our steps below to find out how to apply for a Vanquis credit card following bankruptcy.

Check eligibility

Before you apply, you can use an eligibility checker, which will give you an indication of whether your application will be accepted.

This doesn’t affect your credit score.


Check my eligibility

Your application

We'll show your offer with all the information needed to help you decide.


If you’re happy, complete and submit your application

The Vanquis App

Next download the Vanquis App and wait for your card in the post.



The Vanquis App