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Seeking Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection can help you get out from under your mounting debts and finally re-establish yourself on a firm financial footing. Yet at the same time, such an action does have an impact on your credit rating, which may make it difficult for you to secure financing for large purchases (such as a mortgage) in the days and months immediately following your bankruptcy. 

Many come to us here at The Law Office of Donald L. Bell asking how long after filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy might they be able to qualify for a mortgage. If you share the same question, you should know that there likely is not an easy answer to this question. 

How long to wait to apply for a mortgage 

Officially, there is no mandatory waiting period after filing for bankruptcy for you to apply (and qualify) for a mortgage. Simply based on approval rates, however, a general pattern emerges for the different home loan programs available to you. Per Lending Tree, these are: 

  • Conventional: 4 years 
  • USDA: 3 years 
  • FHA and VA: 2 years 

These waiting periods detail the average time from the discharge date of one’s bankruptcy and their mortgage approval date. 

When should you seek a mortgage?  

The more complicated part of the question of getting for a mortgage after bankruptcy is when would it be in your best interest to do so. If you have a large enough down payment, you may not have to wait long to qualify for a mortgage. Yet your credit rating will impact your interest rate, which could translate to you paying much more in interest over the life of your loan. Thus, it may be more advantageous to wait to both save money for a down payment and secure a lower interest rate. 

You can find more details on managing your post-bankruptcy life throughout our site.