When can I get a mortgage after bankruptcy?

Learn how long it takes to get an FHA, VA, USDA, or conventional mortgage loan after Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

If you have just filed bankruptcy, you will not be barred from ever obtaining a mortgage loan; however, you will not be able to get one immediately. When you can get a mortgage after bankruptcy will depend upon the type of loan you want, the type of bankruptcy you filed, and how good your credit is at the time you want the loan.

Here are the details:

FHA Loans and VA Loans

To obtain an FHA loan or a VA loan after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must wait two years from the date your Chapter 7 is discharged. You can obtain an FHA loan during a Chapter 13 bankruptcy as long as you have made 12 months of satisfactory Chapter 13 plan payments, but you must have bankruptcy court approval to get the loan. In the case of either an FHA loan or a VA loan, you must provide an explanation of the bankruptcy.

USDA Loans

 If you want a USDA loan, you must wait three years from the date of a Chapter 7 discharge or after 12 months of making Chapter 13 plan payments, with court approval, or at least one year after the Chapter 13 is discharged.

Conventional Loans

Conventional loans have the longest waiting periods. If you want a conventional loan, you must wait four years after receiving a Chapter 7 discharge and two years after receiving a Chapter 13 discharge. If your Chapter 13 case was dismissed without a discharge, you must wait four years from the date of the dismissal.

Meeting Other Loan Criteria

Once these time periods pass, you will then be able to qualify for a mortgage loan -- but you must still meet all the typical qualifications for obtaining a mortgage loan. You must be creditworthy, and you must be able to prove that you have a sufficient and reliable source of income. To learn more about rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy, see our Your Credit & Bankruptcy area.

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