Rebuilding My Credit After Bankruptcy. Part 1
If I file bankruptcy can I rebuild my credit? Will I be able to buy a house?
Bankruptcy cases show up on your credit report as a bad mark but it often cleans up other bad marks. Also, it reduces your debt to income ratio. So there is good and there is bad.
Credit reports and scores are used to determine everything from getting a loan, getting hired, and even to renting an apartment. We recommend that you evaluate your credit. A bankruptcy is a powerful tool to wipe out debts and begin a turnaround for financial freedom.
If you can’t pay your debts in a reasonable time, your credit will not improve because you will always be getting reported as late or unable to pay.
Ultimately, deciding what to do begins with getting your credit reports. You are entitled to a free credit report once a year. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com. Get a copy of each of the 3 major credit reports. Make sure you print it or save it on your computer as you can’t get it free for another year.
Or you can call each of the 3 credit report companies; Equifax- 1-800-997-2493; Experian – 1-888-397-3742; Trans Union- 1-800-888-4213. They can mail you copies of the reports.
The credit report will allow you to see what is being reported by creditors and what is on the public record (judgments, liens, etc.). If there are errors you have a right to correct them. (As a side note when you come to our office we help you get your free credit reports.)
Then get your credit score. Go to www.creditkarma.com. It is free. Generally if you have a low score a bankruptcy discharge will be the start of increasing it. Many of our former clients have scores in the 700’s now.
After reviewing your credit reports and scores you are in better positions to weigh the Pros and Cons of filing a bankruptcy.
Can you buy a home after filing a bankruptcy? It generally takes 2 years to qualify for an FHA loan. FHA says it does not look at credit scores. However, it looks for new bad credit, late payments and debt to income rations. Other (non FHA) lenders generally require a score of at least 580 and some only 550.
What can you do to improve your credit and credit score after filing a Bankruptcy? See Part II