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Tips for buying a house after you emerge from bankruptcy

The good news first: Plenty of people have been able to buy a house after their bankruptcies were settled. Now for the bad news: Well, there actually is not any. You do have to exercise some patience and diligence, but these are good characteristics to have anyway.

Learn more about successfully getting a house after bankruptcy discharge.

Wait at least two years for the best rates

Realtors.com recommends you wait at least two years before buying a new property so your rates will be more affordable. This time frame also gives you the opportunity to prove yourself in other ways, such as credit trustworthiness.

Rebuild your credit

On the topic of credit trustworthiness, a secured card is a great way to begin rebuilding your credit. Installment loans such as a car loan are a good help, too. Word of warning: Qualifying for a car loan can be difficult if you try to do so right after bankruptcy. What helps is putting down a sizeable down payment and paying off the loan far faster than you technically have to (paying off a five-year car loan in only a year, for example). This way, the impact of higher interest rates should not seriously affect you.

Save for the down payment

Speaking of down payments, you should try to save up for your home’s down payment as well. Lenders are more likely to approve your application (and for lower interest rates) if you are able to put down at least 10 percent; even better is 20 percent.

All that said, it is important to buy a house for the right reasons. If you do not think you will stay in the home for at least 15 years, renting may be in your best interest until you can rebuild your finances even more. Consider erring on the side of caution, and pay no more than 25 percent of your monthly income on mortgage bills and house expenses. Also, build an emergency fund before you buy your house.

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