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How do I get discharged from my bankruptcy?
You are discharged from your bankruptcy when you get an order that says you no longer have to pay most of the debts you owe. This means most of your debts will be erased and you will not have to pay any more money to most of your creditors. Once you are discharged, your bankruptcy ends.
For a first bankruptcy, you can be automatically discharged after:
- 9 months if you do not have to make surplus income payments, or
- 21 months if you are making surplus income payments.
If you have filed twice for bankruptcy, you will get an automatic discharge after 24 months. If you are making surplus income payments and you have been bankrupt before, you will be bankrupt for at least 36 months.
Until you are discharged, you will still owe money to your creditors.
After your bankruptcy is discharged
Once you are discharged from bankruptcy, your credit rating will be R9. An R9 rating is the lowest credit rating you can have. You will have this rating for 6 years if it was your first bankruptcy and for 14 years if it is your second bankruptcy.
An R9 credit rating can make it hard to get a mortgage or a credit card. For example, instead of a credit card, banks might give you prepaid cards or cards that require you to collateral. It might also be hard to get other types of loans, or even good interest rates on loans.
If it is your first bankruptcy, you must wait 6 or 7 years for the information about your bankruptcy to be removed from your credit report. Both your credit rating and credit score will also be erased. Your credit report will look like you never had any credit before.
You will have to start building your credit again. You can do this by opening a bank account and getting a credit card. It is important to use your credit carefully so you do not get in debt again.