Life after insolvency

What you should do after you’ve been through an insolvency process.

  1. Check your credit file is up to date

    Once your debts are cleared, check your personal credit file to make sure it’s up to date.

    • If you had a Debt Repayment Order (DRO), check your credit file shows how much you’ve repaid your creditors.
    • If you’ve been discharged from a No Asset Procedure or bankruptcy, make sure your credit file shows this.

    There are three main credit reporting agencies that operate in New Zealand that provide personal credit history for individuals.

    To get a copy of your credit history for free, visit:


  2. Try to improve your credit rating

    If you want to borrow money again in the future, e.g. to buy a house, you need to give lenders confidence in you by improving your credit rating.

    You could try to start building up some savings and sticking to a budget, to show that you’re managing your money well. If you take on a small hire purchase and always make the repayments on time, this can also help.

    It will take time to rebuild your credit rating, and it’s always up to the lender to decide whether to lend you money or not.

    For more information on credit ratings, visit:

  3. Managing your money

    Think about the reasons you couldn’t pay your debts, so that you can make a plan to avoid ending up in that situation again.


    A good budget can help you to track and manage your spending. There are lots of organisations who can help with budgeting advice such as link) and some great tools on link) that could be useful.

    Avoid bad debt

    Any debt with a high interest rate is likely to cost you a lot in the long term.

    • Credit cards are best avoided unless you know you can pay them off in full every month.
    • If you take on a hire purchase, aim to repay it within the interest-free period, or make sure you’ve got enough extra money in your budget to pay it off as quickly as possible.
    • If you’re offered a credit deal that seems too good to be true — it probably is! If a big lender like a bank won’t lend to you, it might be a sign that you can’t afford the extra debt.


    Look at the Consumer Protection(external link) or Sorted(external link) websites for more information about how special lending deals work, and explore your options before you commit to anything.