Bankruptcy and Your Credit FAQ

Can I still get loans or a credit card after I complete my bankruptcy?

Whether you can get loans or credit immediately after bankruptcy depends on what you are looking for.

Many bankruptcy filers are bombarded with credit card offers after the bankruptcy is over. Credit card companies know you cannot file again for another several years (which means you can’t discharge any credit card debt you run up during that time), so they may be eager for your business. But beware – the credit card offers will likely have very high interest rates, annual fees, and other high charges. See "Getting a Credit Card After Bankruptcy".

Most likely you’ll be able to get a car loan right away. But you’ll be dealing with subprime lenders – which means exorbitant interest rates and other unfavorable loan terms.

How long it will take to qualify for a mortgage depends, in large part, on the mortgage lender. You may qualify for an FHA-insured mortgage in as little as one year after a Chapter 13 and two years after a Chapter 7. For conventional loans, if your lender sells its loans to Fannie Mae you’ll have to wait at least two years after Chapter 13 and four years after Chapter 7. If your lender doesn’t sell its loans to Fannie Mae, you may have to wait even longer.

These are minimum wait periods – it may take much longer to qualify for a mortgage. Other factors that affect your qualification include your income, your debt load, how large your down payment will be, and more.

To learn more, see When Can I Get a Mortgage After Bankruptcy?

by: , J.D.

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