Purchasing a home after bankruptcy is easier than most people think. In Fact, in as little as one and half to two years you can be ready to buy again.
The first step in getting prepared to buy a house is to start getting your credit in order. It usually takes your creditors and the credit reporting agencies a little while to catch up, but within a few months after your discharge you will need to review your credit reports. You have three credit reports and you will need to review each of them. Very often you will find an item on one of them and not on the other. You get one free report from each agency annually, and if you haven’t already received your free copies go to www.annualcreditreport.com . Beware of going to any other websites, because they often require you to sign up for services in order to get your “free” report. If you have already received your free reports, just go to each of the agencies’ websites: www.experian.com .
Now that you have your reports, you need to review each of them carefully. They need to reflect the outcome of your bankruptcy proceedings. Make sure that none of the accounts that were included in your bankruptcy show up as overdue or open. If any of the information on your reports is incorrect, be sure to contact the respective agency. All disputes must be in writing or you can mail in letters to the addresses the credit reporting agencies provide to you. Disputing items on your credit reports is an easy process to start, but be sure to follow up to make sure your reports get corrected.
The next step to rebuilding your credit is to become a reliable consumer again. Shortly after your bankruptcy discharge you will begin to receive secured credit card applications. Secured credit cards require you to have money deposited with the credit card company. Your deposit will equal the size of your credit card limit. Be sure to use at least one of these cards, and make sure to pay off your balance every month. These cards offer you a great opportunity to rebuild your credit, but make sure to read the fine print, because some of the offers will be tremendously better than others.
Another way to improve your credit is to pay your installment loans on time. It is often that people who file for bankruptcy get to keep their vehicles. Make sure to make those payments on time, and follow suit with any other loans that you have or acquire after bankruptcy.
After you have taken the steps to get your credit back on track, you can start looking for a house again. Some people can buy a house within just a couple of years after bankruptcy. You will need to find the right type of loan though, because some loans have different requirements than others.
In conclusion, start early and work hard to improve your credit as much as you can. Be sure that you have learned from any mistakes, and be realistic. The more time that passes after your bankruptcy, the better your credit can become. If you are shopping for a house within a year or two of having filed for bankruptcy, you probably will not qualify for the very best interest rates available. Don’t let this discourage you though, because with hard work you will be able to buy a house again.