How soon after bankruptcy can I buy a house?

Written by melody hughes
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Bankruptcy is a serious legal procedure used to either discharge or reorganise debts. Bankruptcy may stay on your credit report for up to 10 years. However, as time passes, the negative impact of the bankruptcy diminishes. Filing bankruptcy may hinder your ability to get a mortgage from one to five years after the court discharges your case. It may also result in higher interest rates, causing a mortgage to be unaffordable.

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Time frame

According to the Moran Law Group, you may be able to buy a house within 18 to 24 months after the courts discharge your bankruptcy. The Department of Urban Development Housing and Development indicates that you may be able to qualify for an FHA loan one year after a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In order to obtain an FHA loan during the Chapter 13 repayment plan, you will need to obtain a letter from your court-appointed trustee stating the maximum amount you can borrow for a new home. If you filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may qualify for an FHA loan two years after discharge. Loansafe.org estimates that you will have the best chance of qualifying for a mortgage about three to five years after filing bankruptcy.

Credit Impact

Mortgage lenders require that you meet certain credit score guidelines. If you file for bankruptcy, your credit score is likely to reflect past credit issues that caused the bankruptcy filing. After you file bankruptcy, your credit score will likely drop even more. However, you can increase you credit score by establishing new credit and paying all bills on time.

Interest Rates

The most important aspect affecting the cost of your mortgage is your interest rate. Typically, those with higher credit scores get lower interest rates, and those with lower credit get higher interest rates. A higher interest rate will increase the amount you will pay for your home over the life of the loan, which will in turn result in a higher monthly payment. So while you may be able to get a mortgage loan soon after a bankruptcy, you may not be able to afford the payment until your credit score rises. In order to get a better interest rate, try to wait to apply for a mortgage until you have been able to improve your credit score following the bankruptcy. According to My Fico, you need a score of at least 620 to secure of mortgage, but you will get the best rate if your score is above 760. To rebuild your credit, make sure to pay any debts remaining after the bankruptcy and any new debts incurred after the bankruptcy on time.

Considerations

In order to buy a home post-bankruptcy, you will need to be prepared to make a down payment on your home. Paying a down-payment of 20 per cent or more will reduce your interest rate.You will also need to show a steady job and income history for at least the past year.

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