How long after bankruptcy can i get a car loan?

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After going through the process of bankruptcy, many individuals wonder how long they have to wait before they can get a car loan. While bankruptcy can have a significant impact on your credit score and financial standing, it doesn’t mean you can never get a car loan again. In this article, we will explore the factors that determine how long after bankruptcy you can qualify for a car loan and provide some tips to improve your chances of getting approved.

Understanding Bankruptcy and Its Impact on Credit

Bankruptcy is a legal process that helps individuals or businesses eliminate or repay their debts under the protection of the court. There are different types of bankruptcy, including Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, each with its own requirements and implications. Filing for bankruptcy can have a severe impact on your credit score, as it stays on your credit report for several years.

Waiting Periods After Bankruptcy

The waiting period to obtain a car loan after bankruptcy varies depending on the type of bankruptcy filed and the lender’s policies. Generally, you can expect to wait for a minimum of two years after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and one year after a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to be eligible for a car loan. However, some lenders may require a longer waiting period.

Factors That Affect Your Eligibility

While waiting periods provide a general guideline, several factors can influence your eligibility for a car loan after bankruptcy. These factors include:

Credit Score: Your credit score plays a crucial role in determining your eligibility for a car loan. After bankruptcy, your credit score may have taken a hit. It’s essential to work on rebuilding your credit by making timely payments on any remaining debts and keeping your credit utilization low.

Income and Employment: Lenders want to ensure that you have a stable source of income to repay the loan. Having a steady job and a sufficient income can increase your chances of getting approved for a car loan.

Down Payment: Offering a larger down payment can mitigate the risk for lenders and improve your chances of getting approved for a car loan. Saving up for a substantial down payment can be beneficial, especially after bankruptcy.

Tips to Improve Your Chances

While waiting for the appropriate time to apply for a car loan after bankruptcy, there are several steps you can take to improve your chances of approval:

Rebuild Your Credit: Focus on rebuilding your credit by making timely payments on any remaining debts, such as credit cards or loans. Consider applying for a secured credit card to establish a positive payment history.

Shop Around for Lenders: Different lenders have varying criteria for approving car loans after bankruptcy. It’s essential to shop around and compare offers from multiple lenders to find one that suits your needs and offers favorable terms.

Consider a Co-signer: If you’re having difficulty getting approved for a car loan on your own, you may consider having a co-signer with good credit. A co-signer is someone who agrees to be responsible for the loan if you default, which can increase your chances of approval.


While bankruptcy can make it challenging to obtain a car loan, it is not impossible. By understanding the waiting periods, working on rebuilding your credit, and considering the factors that affect your eligibility, you can improve your chances of getting approved for a car loan after bankruptcy. Remember to be patient, take proactive steps to improve your financial situation, and explore different lenders to find the best option for your needs.


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