How Long After Bankruptcy Until I Can Get a Mortgage?

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Can I get a mortgage if I’ve been bankrupt?

Yes, you can get a mortgage after bankruptcy. But it can be more difficult compared to someone with a good credit score. That’s because most big banks will refuse to give you a mortgage if you’ve ever filed for bankruptcy. They’re just not set up to deal with complex situations. But there are specialist lenders who will consider you, so you do have options.

If you’re an ex-bankrupt, you may feel anxious about what your borrowing options are. You should work with a specialist mortgage broker who’s dealt with people just like you. They’ll have good relationships with the specialist lenders and will be able to find the right mortgage at the right rate.

It’s a mortgage myth that you’ll ‘never get credit again’ after being bankrupt. We’re working to address the misconceptions and remove the stigma that comes with bad credit. The Brokers we work with know which mainstream or specialist lenders to approach who’ll offer you the most competitive interest rates. They’ll know the best options available to you and how to get you a mortgage approved with a bankruptcy. See how it works

How long after bankruptcy until I can get a mortgage?

You can apply for a mortgage as soon as you've been discharged from your bankruptcy. However, the more recent your bankruptcy, the harder it will be to get approved. You should also carefully consider your current financial situation and whether you'll be able to afford the monthly repayments.

Time is a healer, so it's best to wait until your credit score has improved before applying for a mortgage. Keeping to good habits will prove to lenders that you can be trusted to keep to your monthly repayments. Read more in our Guide: How to Improve Your Credit Score Before Applying for a Mortgage.

How does bankruptcy affect a mortgage application?

It's to be expected that any previous bankruptcies will have an impact on your mortgage application. Most of the big banks will turn you down as they're just not set up to deal with complex situations. But there's specialist lenders who will still consider you.

Mortgage companies make decisions based on risk level. They look for anything in your credit file that might indicate you won’t keep up with your mortgage repayments. Any kind of bad credit is a red flag for lenders.

Bankruptcy is seen as a serious credit issue. It tells lenders you’ve had issues with repaying debts in the past - even if that's no longer the case. Bankruptcy stays on your credit file for six years, but lenders may still ask if you've ever been bankrupt. You'll have to answer truthfully if this happens.

Time is a big factor with mortgages after bankruptcies. You won't be able to apply until you've been discharged (usually after 12 months). The more recently you were discharged, the harder it will be to get approved for a mortgage. Some specialist lenders will consider your application as soon as you have been discharged, but you'll need a mortgage broker to present your application well. 

Be aware that you may be asked to put down a bigger deposit, or pay a higher interest rate

Can I get a mortgage if I’m still bankrupt?

You can't apply for a mortgage while you're still bankrupt. You'll have to wait until you're discharged for your bankruptcy before applying for a mortgage. This is usually 12 months. 

Bankruptcy is a legal status where you declare you can’t pay any more of your debts, and stays on your credit file for six years. It's possible to get approved for a mortgage straight after you're discharged, but you'll have to follow strict guidelines, and whether you can afford the repayments will be thoroughly tested. You might also be asked to pay a higher interest rate or a larger deposit.

Do I still need to tell lenders I’ve been bankrupt after six years?

It's best to be honest about previous bankruptcies, even if it's gone from your credit file. It will save you time, effort and money during your application. 

Bankruptcies disappear from your credit file after six years, but most lenders will ask whether you've ever been bankrupt. It's always best to be honest and upfront. 

If you've been bankrupt previously, your name is placed on the National Hunter database. This is a database containing everyone who's been bankrupt - even after they’ve been discharged. Regardless of whether you own up to it, a lender will be able to find you on this database. Make sure your broker and lender knows about the bankruptcy early. You don't want to risk being rejected later on. 

When looking for a mortgage after bankruptcy, it's a good idea to work with a specialist mortgage broker. Someone who knows the market, has good relationships with the lenders who might accept you, and who knows how to make your application look good. Make an enquiry to get matched with the perfect broker for you. 

Can I get a mortgage after bankruptcy with other credit issues?

When being considered for an ex-bankruptcy mortgage, lenders will want to see a clean credit history since you were declared bankrupt. This will usually be a condition of your approval. 

You should make sure any outstanding debts are paid in full before starting your mortgage application. Any new credit issues that have appeared since your bankruptcy (such as Debt Management Plans or CCJs) will make it a lot harder to get accepted for a mortgage. 

It's worth speaking to a specialist bankruptcy mortgage broker who can let you know what your options are.

Tips for being accepted for a mortgage after bankruptcy

It’s not a good idea to rush into a mortgage application without speaking to a specialist. But there are a number of things you can do to improve your chances of getting mortgage after bankruptcy:

Time it right

Generally, the longer it's been since you were discharged, the better you'll look to lenders. Some lenders might approve you straight after discharge, but you'll have to meet strict criteria and pay higher interest. Waiting a few years - and keeping your credit report clean in that time - will greatly improve your chances.

Work on your credit score 

There are some simple ways to keep your credit file looking healthy. From correcting errors to registering to vote, it all counts towards building your score back up. Make sure you're keeping on top of your bills and pay them on time. Read more tips in our Guide: How to Improve Your Credit Score Before Applying For a Mortgage

Get on top of your income

You'll look less risky to lenders if you can manage your income. Gathering paperwork that proves you understand your earnings, outgoings and budget will show you can live within your means.

Reduce your debts

The fewer financial commitments you have, the better. Pay as much off your debt as you can. This will show a lender you won't struggle to make repayments.

Save a bigger deposit

Saving a bigger deposit means you're asking to borrow less money and making a bigger commitment. Most lenders ask people with previous bankruptcies to put down more money up front to reduce their risk. Though this depends how recently you were discharged. 

Talk to a specialist

When applying for a mortgage after bankruptcy, it's best to speak to an advisor who can assess your unique situation and explain your options. A specialist mortgage broker knows the market, which lenders are best for you, and how to give your application the best chance of being accepted. Make an enquiry to get matched to your perfect broker

We get how it feels when you’re refused a mortgage. We have first-hand experience of how your mental health can be affected when you get knocked back. We're working hard to spread awareness and tackle the stigma that comes with bad credit issues. Life happens. There's many reasons why you might fall into bad credit, and while getting a mortgage after bankruptcy can be trickier compared to someone with perfect credit, that doesn't mean it's impossible.

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