How long after a bankruptcy can you get a mortgage?

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After experiencing a bankruptcy, many individuals wonder how long it will take before they can qualify for a mortgage. While bankruptcy can have a significant impact on one’s financial situation, it does not mean that obtaining a mortgage is impossible. In this article, we will explore the factors that affect the timeline for getting a mortgage after bankruptcy and provide insights into the process.

Understanding Bankruptcy and its Impact on Mortgage Eligibility

Bankruptcy: Bankruptcy is a legal process that allows individuals or businesses to eliminate or repay their debts under the protection of the court. It provides a fresh financial start for those overwhelmed by debt but also has consequences, including a negative impact on credit scores and the ability to obtain credit in the future.

Credit Score: Your credit score is a crucial factor that lenders consider when determining your eligibility for a mortgage. Bankruptcy can significantly lower your credit score, making it more challenging to qualify for a mortgage in the short term.

Types of Bankruptcy and Waiting Periods

The type of bankruptcy you file for will determine the waiting period before you can apply for a mortgage. The most common types of bankruptcy for individuals are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation bankruptcy that involves the sale of assets to repay debts. The waiting period to qualify for a mortgage after Chapter 7 bankruptcy is generally two years from the discharge date.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves creating a repayment plan to pay off debts over a period of three to five years. The waiting period to qualify for a mortgage after Chapter 13 bankruptcy is typically two years from the discharge date or four years from the dismissal date.

Rebuilding Credit after Bankruptcy

While waiting for the specified time period to pass, it is essential to focus on rebuilding your credit. Here are some steps you can take to improve your creditworthiness:

1. Pay Your Bills on Time: Consistently paying your bills on time demonstrates financial responsibility and can help improve your credit score over time.

2. Establish a Budget: Creating a budget and sticking to it can help you manage your finances effectively and avoid falling into further debt.

3. Obtain a Secured Credit Card: A secured credit card allows you to rebuild your credit by making small purchases and paying off the balance in full each month.

4. Monitor Your Credit Report: Regularly reviewing your credit report can help you identify any errors or discrepancies that may be negatively impacting your credit score.

Working with a Mortgage Lender

When you are ready to apply for a mortgage after bankruptcy, it is crucial to work with a lender experienced in dealing with individuals who have gone through bankruptcy. These lenders understand the unique circumstances and may have specialized loan programs available.

Documentation: Be prepared to provide extensive documentation to support your mortgage application, including proof of income, employment history, and any documentation related to your bankruptcy discharge.

Higher Interest Rates and Larger Down Payments: It is important to note that after bankruptcy, you may be subject to higher interest rates and required to make a larger down payment compared to individuals with a clean credit history. This is because lenders perceive individuals with a bankruptcy history as higher-risk borrowers.


While a bankruptcy can have a significant impact on your creditworthiness, it does not mean that you will never be able to obtain a mortgage. The waiting period after bankruptcy varies depending on the type of bankruptcy filed, but typically ranges from two to four years. During this time, focusing on rebuilding your credit and working with experienced mortgage lenders can increase your chances of qualifying for a mortgage in the future.


– Experian:
– Federal Trade Commission:
– U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: