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Refinancing After Bankruptcy: Rebuilding Your Credit Made Easy

Updated: Jan 4

Refinancing After Bankruptcy: How To Rebuild Your Credit And Secure A New Mortgage

Navigating the world of refinancing after bankruptcy can feel complex and intimidating. Despite this, it's important to remember that securing a new mortgage post-bankruptcy isn't impossible, it simply requires careful planning and diligent credit rebuilding.

This blog will serve as your informative guide, providing comprehensive strategies on reconstructing your credit status and successfully securing a new mortgage. Ready to rebuild for a brighter financial future? Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

Rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy is possible through regular credit report checks, responsible credit habits, and tools like secured credit cards and credit-builder loans.

Understanding bad credit mortgages can help you navigate the refinancing process after bankruptcy, as they have higher interest rates and stricter requirements but offer options for borrowers with low credit scores.

Non - QM mortgages provide more flexible options for individuals with past financial difficulties to secure a new mortgage and rebuild their credit. These mortgages consider factors beyond just credit when evaluating an applicant's eligibility.

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Waiting Period To Refinance After Bankruptcy

 Waiting Period To Refinance After Bankruptcy

Below is a table that outlines the typical waiting periods to refinance after a bankruptcy for various mortgage types. Please note that these waiting periods can vary depending on the specific circumstances and lender policies, so it's always advisable to consult with a mortgage professional at Bennett Capital Partners to understand the exact requirements for your situation.

Waiting periods to refinance after a bankruptcy

FHA Loan

  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: 2 years from discharge date.

  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: 1 year from filing date, with court approval.

VA Loan

  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: 2 years from discharge date.

  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: 1 year from filing date, with court approval.


  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: 3 years from discharge date.

  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: 1 year from filing date, with court approval.

Conventional Loan

  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: 4 years from discharge date.

  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: 2 years from the discharge date or 4 years from the dismissal date.

Jumbo Loan

  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Typically 4-7 years from discharge date, depending on the lender.

  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Typically 2-7 years from discharge date, depending on the lender.

Non-QM Loan

  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: As little as 1 day, varies across lenders

  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: As little as 1 day, varies across lenders

These guidelines are subject to change and may vary by lender, loan type, and other factors. It's essential to consult with a mortgage professional, such as your team at Bennett Capital Partners, to understand the specific requirements and options available to refinance after bankrupcy.

Rebuilding Your Credit To Get A Non-QM or Conventional Loan After Bankruptcy

Rebuilding Your Credit To Get A Non-QM or Conventional Loan After Bankruptcy

To rebuild your credit after bankruptcy, start by regularly checking your credit report for any errors and practicing responsible credit habits. Additionally, consider getting a secured credit card or a credit-builder loan to demonstrate your ability to make on-time payments.

You can also ask to become an authorized user on someone else's account to help boost your credit score. Following these strategies will help you sucessfully refinance after bankruptcy.

Checking your credit report regularly for errors

You should look at your credit report often. This helps you find mistakes that could hurt your credit. If you see errors, dispute them right away with the credit bureau. Wrong information on your report can stop you from building up good credit again after bankruptcy.

So, make sure all the details are correct every time you check.

Practicing responsible credit habits

Using credit wisely is key after a bankruptcy. Start by making on-time payments, every time. This shows lenders that you can be trusted with money. Always try to keep your credit card balance low.

This is called your credit utilization ratio and it should be below 30%. So, if your card limit is $1000, try not to borrow more than $300 at any one time.

Next, don't take out too many credits at once. Lenders may think you'll have a hard time paying them all back. Be careful and pick the right type of loan for the stuff you need to buy or finance.

Try putting extra cash towards high-interest debts. You will save lots of money in interest over time this way.

To end, focus on these strong habits each day: pay bills on time and in full when you can; do not go above or use up all your available credit; and think smart before getting new loans or cards!

Getting a secured credit card

A secured credit card is a good tool to rebuild your credit. You give the bank money for this type of card. This money is "security" in case you do not pay your bill. The bank keeps this money while you use the card.

It's like training wheels for credit cards! Using it right helps show that you can handle debt well. Make sure you make on-time payments with it and don't spend too much. After doing those things, getting a new home loan will get easier!

Considering a credit-builder loan

If you're looking to rebuild your credit after bankruptcy and secure a new mortgage, considering a credit-builder loan could be a good option. A credit-builder loan is designed specifically for individuals with poor or no credit history.

With this type of loan, you make regular payments over a set period of time, typically six months to two years. The lender holds the funds in an account until the loan is fully paid off.

As you make timely payments, it helps establish positive payment history and can improve your credit score over time. This can help boost your chances of qualifying for a mortgage down the line.

Asking to become an authorized user on an account

Adding yourself as an authorized user on someone else's account can be a helpful strategy for rebuilding credit after bankruptcy. When you become an authorized user, the primary account holder's good payment history and responsible credit habits can start to positively impact your own credit score.

This can increase your chances of getting approved for a mortgage refinancing with better interest rates and more manageable monthly payments. Remember, it's important to choose someone who has a strong credit history and is willing to let you join their account.

Understanding Bad Credit Mortgages

After bankruptcy, it's common to have bad credit. This can make it harder to get a mortgage. But don't worry, there are options available for borrowers with bad credit. Understanding bad credit mortgages is important when trying to secure a new loan.

Bad credit mortgages are designed for people with low credit scores or a history of financial difficulties. These types of loans usually come with higher interest rates and stricter requirements compared to traditional mortgages.

Lenders take on more risk when lending to someone with bad credit, so they want to protect themselves by charging higher fees and interest rates.

It's possible to qualify for a bad credit mortgage even after bankruptcy, but you may need to meet certain criteria like having a stable income or making a larger down payment. Some lenders specialize in these types of loans and can guide you through the process.

Remember that if you do get approved for a bad credit mortgage, it's important to make your monthly payments on time. This will help rebuild your credit over time and improve your chances of qualifying for better loan terms in the future.

Understanding how bad credit mortgages work can empower borrowers who are looking for a fresh start after bankruptcy. By exploring all available options and working towards improving their financial situation, they can increase their chances of securing a new mortgage despite their past challenges.

How Long It Takes to Rebuild Your Credit After Bankruptcy

How Long It Takes to Rebuild Your Credit After Bankruptcy

Rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy takes time and effort, but with responsible credit habits and patience, you can begin to see improvements within a year or two.

The timeline for rebuilding credit after Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Rebuilding your credit post-bankruptcy can be a challenging task, but understanding the timeline can simplify the process. Below is a comparative analysis of the timeline and nuances involved in rebuilding credit after Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

These timelines indicate the minimum period it typically takes to rebuild credit after bankruptcy. Remember, the actual duration may vary based on diligent credit management and responsible financial habits.

The Role of Non-QM Mortgages in Rebuilding Credit

The Role of Non-QM Mortgages in Rebuilding Credit

Non-QM mortgages play a crucial role in helping individuals rebuild their credit after bankruptcy. These mortgages are designed for borrowers who don't meet the strict criteria of traditional lenders.

Non-QM mortgages have more flexible credit requirements and lenient debt-to-income ratios, making it easier for people with past financial difficulties to secure a new mortgage.

Unlike conventional loans, non-QM mortgages consider other factors like employment history and income stability when evaluating an applicant's creditworthiness. This means that even if you have a bankruptcy on your record, you still have a chance to qualify for a mortgage and rebuild your credit.

By obtaining a non-QM mortgage, you can make timely payments towards your monthly mortgage obligations. These consistent payments will help reestablish your credit history over time.

It's important to note that patience is key; rebuilding credit takes time, but with responsible financial habits and non-QM mortgages, you can work towards improving your overall financial health and securing a refinance after bankruptcy.

Ways to Improve Your Overall Financial Health After Bankruptcy

Ways to Improve Your Overall Financial Health After Bankruptcy

To improve your overall financial health after bankruptcy, start by creating a new budget that allows for responsible spending and debt repayment.

Creating a new budget

Creating a new budget is an important step in rebuilding your financial life after bankruptcy. Here are some strategies to help you create a budget that works for you:

Make a list of all your monthly expenses, including rent or mortgage payments, utilities, groceries, transportation costs, and any other recurring bills.

Prioritize your expenses based on their importance and allocate a specific amount of money for each category.

Look for areas where you can cut back on spending. This could include dining out less frequently, canceling unused subscriptions, or finding more affordable options for necessities.

Set aside some money each month for savings and emergencies. Having an emergency fund can provide a safety net during unexpected financial situations.

Track your expenses regularly to ensure that you are staying within your budget. There are many online tools and apps available to help you with this.

Consider meeting with a financial advisor who can provide guidance and support as you navigate through the process of rebuilding your finances.

Building an emergency fund to cover future expenses and mortgage payments

Having an emergency fund is a smart move when rebuilding your financial life after bankruptcy. It can provide a safety net for unexpected expenses and help prevent falling into further debt.

By saving money in an emergency fund, you'll have peace of mind knowing that you're prepared for any financial surprises that come your way. Experts recommend having at least three to six months' worth of living expenses saved up in your emergency fund.

It's important to be disciplined and consistent with your savings habits to successfully build this fund.

Reassessing your relationship with credit

After bankruptcy, it's important to take a step back and reassess your relationship with credit. This means evaluating how you use credit, understanding the impact it can have on your financial health, and making changes as needed.

Look at your spending habits and create a new budget that focuses on living within your means. Building an emergency fund can also help you avoid relying on credit in times of unexpected expenses.

By reassessing your relationship with credit and making responsible choices moving forward, you can improve your overall financial health after bankruptcy.

Securing a New Mortgage After Bankruptcy

Securing a New Mortgage After Bankruptcy

Learn about the different types of bankruptcy and their impact on mortgage refinancing, determine the right time to apply for a mortgage refinance, and take the necessary steps to secure a new mortgage after bankruptcy.

Don't miss out on this crucial information!

Understanding the different types of bankruptcy and their impact on mortgage refinancing

There are two main types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may have to sell your assets to pay off debt, which could potentially lead to home foreclosure.

On the other hand, Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves creating a repayment plan to clear your debts. This type of bankruptcy can actually stop foreclosure proceedings. It's important to note that both types of bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for a certain number of years (10 years for Chapter 7 and seven years for Chapter 13).

These different types of bankruptcies can have varying impacts on your ability to refinance your mortgage after filing for bankruptcy.

Determining the right waiting period to apply for a mortgage refinance after bankruptcy

After bankruptcy, it's important to wait for the appropriate time before applying for a mortgage refinance. The waiting period depends on the type of bankruptcy you filed. For Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you generally need to wait for at least two years before refinancing, while Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows for refinancing after one day with 12 qualifying on-time payments.

It's crucial to consider these waiting periods and make sure your financial situation has improved before applying for a mortgage refinance.

Steps to take when applying for a mortgage refinance

To apply for a mortgage refinance after bankruptcy, follow these steps:

  1. Gather all the necessary documents, such as proof of income, bank statements, and tax returns.

  2. Research different lenders and compare their refinancing options to find the best fit for your needs.

  3. Fill out the application form accurately and provide any additional information or explanations required due to your bankruptcy history.

  4. Be prepared to explain how you have rebuilt your credit since filing for bankruptcy and highlight any positive changes in your financial situation.

  5. Submit the completed application along with all supporting documents to the lender and wait for their response.

  6. If approved, carefully review the terms of the new mortgage loan, including interest rates, closing costs, repayment period, and monthly payment amount.

  7. Consider consulting with a bankruptcy attorney or financial advisor before signing any loan agreements to ensure they are in your best interest.

Foreclosure Bailout Mortgages as an Alternative to Refinancing After Bankruptcy

If you're looking for a mortgage after bankruptcy, foreclosure bailout mortgages are worth considering. These mortgages can be an alternative to refinancing and can help make your mortgage payments more manageable.

With a foreclosure bailout mortgage, you may be able to get a lower interest rate, which could save you money in the long run. It's important to explore all your options and find the best fit for your financial situation.



In conclusion, while refinancing after bankruptcy may pose some challenges, it is possible to rebuild your credit and secure a new mortgage. By practicing responsible credit habits, checking your credit report regularly for errors, and exploring options like secured credit cards and credit-builder loans, you can improve your financial health.

Remember to compare lenders and loan types to find the best terms for refinancing after bankruptcy. With determination and careful planning, you can achieve your goal of owning a new home even after experiencing bankruptcy.


What does refinancing mean after personal bankruptcy?

Refinancing after personal bankruptcy means getting a new mortgage to repay debt from the kind of loan first taken out. It often has a fixed interest rate and can lead to a lower new monthly mortgage payment for some. After the discharge, you do not need approval from the bankruptcy trustee.

Can I get an FHA or VA loan right after declaring bankruptcy?

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veterans Affairs (VA) have waiting periods before you can apply for their loans post-bankruptcy. They also check your credit report, so it's critical to make on-time payments and rebuild your minimum credit score after filing. The credit score requirements can vary from a government backed loan verse a conventional mortgage. It's important to check the credit bureaus to make sure your bankruptcy debts are reporting as discharged as this can affect your credit score.

How long do I need to wait to refinance my home with different government-backed loans post-bankruptcy discharge?

The bankruptcy waiting period differs based on the type of home loan one wants, like FHA loans, VA loans, USDA Loans or conventional mortgages. The time frame counts from the dismissal date or sometimes even from the filing date.

Is there any assistance when I face financial hardship making payments on my outstanding debts following a bankruptcy filing?

Yes! A mortgage modification program could reduce your monthly mortgage payments if you're in danger of default due to financial hardship caused by unexpected issues such as job loss.

What types of lenders should one consider when looking into refinancing options?

A good loan officer can find the best loan program with a low mortgage rate. The best option would be a mortgage broker, they can shop multiple lenders, local banks for the best loan term on a conventional mortgage, including federal programs for an FHA and VA loans among many other available lending institutions that can offer a cash out refinance after bankruptcy.

What’s cash-out refinance?

Cash-out refinance allows homeowners to take out a larger home loan than what they owe, and then use the difference in cash to pay off high-interest debt, such as those owed towards Chapter Bankruptcy court orders. However, keep in mind that this could increase your remaining debt payments. Conventional loans and government-backed loans, which are offered by mortgage companies, provide cash-out refinance options

Philip Bennett

Philip Bennett

Philip is the owner and Licensed Mortgage Broker at Bennett Capital Partners, Bus. NMLS # 2046828. He earned his degree in Accounting and Finance from Binghamton University and holds a Master's Degree in Finance from NOVA Southeastern University. With more than 20 years of experience, Philip has been a leader in the mortgage industry. He has personally originated over $2 billion in residential and commercial mortgages.

Learn more about Philip Bennett's background and experience on our Founder's page. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned real estate investor, our team is here to help you achieve your real estate goals. Don't wait any longer, contact us today and let us help you find the right mortgage for your needs.

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