You may feel discouraged thinking about the mortgage application process of you filed for a bankruptcy. However, it is possible to qualify if you plan accordingly and take the necessary steps. Key steps will include; waiting it out, ensuring that your credit report is correct, building positive trade lines and holding a steady job.
Qualifying for a FHA loan is one possibility. If you have are making payments on a Chapter 13 you will be eligible if you have been paying in time for at least 12 months. If you filed a Chapter 7 you will need to wait at least 24 months after the discharge date before being eligible. Keep in mind that the filing date is not the same as the discharge date.
Obtain a copy of your credit report and make sure that everything is appearing as it should. Accounts that were included in bankruptcy need to appear as such on your file. This is preferable to accounts showing late payments or appearing in collection or charge-off status. If it’s not appearing as should, you will need to file a dispute with each of the three agencies and send each bureau a copy of your discharge papers itemizing which accounts were included. You can file a dispute by mail, phone or fax. Include your name, address, social security number and the exact nature of your dispute. Legally, the agencies will have a total of thirty days to look into the claim and will mail you a corrected report once their investigation is complete.
The next step is to rebuild your credit. If you have current accounts in good standing just keep paying them on time. The age of an account affects scoring and as a result it’s good to have trade lines which have remained in good standing for a longer duration of time. If you do not have any positive accounts then you might want to open a few secured credit cards. Make sure that the issuing bank of those secured actually cards actually will report to the bureaus before you apply, otherwise it doesn’t serve a purpose. It’s ideal to have a blend of both installment and revolving accounts in good standing. Revolving accounts are credit card accounts while example of installment loans are auto and student loans. Don’t apply for too many credit cards at once as this will lower your score. Try to apply for just a few and spread it out over a time period.
Having a solid employment history is also important. Mortgage lenders like to see at least two years of employment at the same company. This shows financial security and stability. It is also vital to keep your employment within the same field or line or work. Keep all your check stubs and tax returns in a location that is easily accessible in case the lender needs to review them.
Take the time to work on establishing positive accounts, dispute inaccuracies on your credit file and keep a steady job. If you take these steps, in time you may qualify for a home loan.