Actually, a bankruptcy, whether a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13, stays on your credit report for 10 years. The laws changed in 2005, and now both types are reported for 10 years. In general, during the first two years after a bankruptcy is filed, you will have a difficult time getting credit at a reasonable interest rate. But as time goes by, those difficulties decrease. If you have a car and/or house and continue making those payments in full and on time, your credit will recover fairly quickly. After the two-year period, you should try to obtain a low-limit credit card, and make small charges you can pay off in full each month. It take time and discipline, but within about five years after you file a bankruptcy case, your credit score can be moderate to good. However, the best thing to do is avoid incurring debt at all. I'm a bankruptcy lawyer, and I have no credit cards. It's a huge relief to live your life on a cash basis, and not dread every walk to the mail box. I strongly encourage my clients to end their enslavement to credit scores, build up a healthy bank balance, and stop throwing their money away on interest payments to creditors.