After a recent bankruptcy, many people assume that purchasing a new home is impossible. No doubt a bankruptcy is extremely damaging to your credit history, and most lenders are not eager to loan you money or extend credit. However, there is good news for the millions of people who file bankruptcy each year. Contrary to popular opinion, homeownership after bankruptcy is very attainable.
Delay the Home Buying Process
Although it is possible to get approved for a home loan one day after a bankruptcy discharge, financial experts, and mortgage lenders do not recommend this maneuver. You can expect to pay ridiculously higher interest rates and fees immediately following a bankruptcy.
The key to getting back on track financially is establishing new credit accounts. However, it is wise to start with smaller accounts, as opposed to a home mortgage. These may include accounts that you can pay in full each month. For the most part, you should delay the home buying process for at least 24 months. During this time, open new credit accounts and establish a good relationship with your new creditors.
Improve Your Personal Credit Rating
By opening new credit accounts and establishing new credit relationships, you will boost your overall credit rating. Following a bankruptcy, most people have very low credit scores. A low credit score warrants denials for credit cards and loans. Moreover, a low credit score will forfeit the opportunity to attain prime rates.
During the two years following your bankruptcy, strive to increase your credit score. This will take time. The best way to increase your personal credit rating is to avoid paying your bills late. Furthermore, avoid too much debt. Maintain small credit balances, and try to payoff your credit card balances each month.
Make a habit of regularly monitoring your credit report. It is recommended that consumers attain a copy of their credit reports about every six months. As you open new credit accounts, and maintain a good payment history, this will be noted on your credit report. If errors are present on your report, contact your creditors and the bureau to resolve the inaccuracies.
Using High Risk Mortgage Lenders
A bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for approximately ten years. During this time, many lenders will not offer you prime or low interest rates. However, there are plenty of lenders who specialize in helping people get back on their feet. It's usually best to meet with a Mortgage Broker or small lender as opposed to the Big Banks. Their goal is to get you the best financing package for your circumstances.