Most people think that if you have a bankruptcy listing on your credit report, you have zero chance of ever getting a mortgage again. Even four or five years ago this might have been true, but these days its definitely possible to get a mortgage, even if you have a bankruptcy in your past. Bankruptcy definitely doesnt help your credit rating at all, but if you explore your options fully, youll see that its still possible to obtain a mortgage. So what do you need to do?
Steps One: Repairing your Credit
To prepare your finances for obtaining a mortgage after youve been bankrupt, its true that you might have to work a little harder than someone with a credit rating thats more acceptable to lenders. But it can be done! Use the following steps as a guide for preparation.
1.Make a list of your familys monthly income be realistic, and include only the income that is 100% reliable, that you know you can count on every month. If you have any other sources of income that arent 100% guaranteed, add those to a separate list (this ensures that the “sometimes” income wont put a strain on your budget).
2.Make another list of your familys monthly expenses. If youre not sure what your expenses are, keep all your receipts for a month to give you an exact picture of where youre money is going. Saving receipts is the best way of getting a clear idea of where the money goes small purchases add up over the course of a month.
3.Make a budget that you know you and your family can stick to. Make sure all the bills are paid before allotting money for entertainment and other luxuries.
4.Pay all bills on time, and make sure that your loans and credit card debt are listed with credit card bureaus. This will make sure your creditors have proof youre working to pay debts on time and are serious about repairing your credit. Showing your creditors that you can live within your means is one of the most important steps to getting a mortgage after bankruptcy.
By law, you can apply for a mortgage as little as a single day after your bankruptcy is discharged. However, its not necessarily a good idea to do so. Its important to make sure your credit score is as high as possible, so that you can obtain a mortgage with an affordable interest rate. If youre approved for a mortgage you cant afford, those high interest rates will only send your finances reeling again. And if you apply for a mortgage and arent approved, the rejection can hurt your credit score all over again.
To give you every chance of repairing your credit and improving your chance of mortgage approval, its a good idea to wait at least a year after bankruptcy discharge before applying for a mortgage (and note that some lenders may require you to wait even longer maybe two or three years).
During this time, its important to do everything you can to repair your credit rating. Dont forget to apply for copies of your credit report and check for errors or obsolete information that might have lowered your rating unfairly.