Understanding USDA Home Loans and Bankruptcy Eligibility

You can still buy a house after a bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy petitionUSDA home loans are an excellent way to achieve homeownership. When filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a debtor is given the opportunity to develop a repayment plan for any outstanding debts. You will lose your opportunity to obtain a USDA loan if you fail to make timely settlements to the trustee.

After one year, you can apply for a USDA loan, assuming that the trustee grants you permission to do so while still making payments on your Chapter 13 bankruptcy debts.

Bankruptcy is a legal process that helps individuals and businesses eliminate or repay their debts. Under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, bankruptcy filers can eliminate most of their debts by selling off their assets.

However, there is a waiting period before you can qualify for a USDA loan after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This waiting period is three years from the discharge date of the bankruptcy. During this time, you must re-establish good credit and demonstrate an ability to repay the loan.

The following are the top five reasons for declaring bankruptcy:

  1. Divorce or Separation
  2. Job Loss
  3. Medical Expenses
  4. Credit is being used improperly or excessively.
  5. Floods, casualty losses, thefts, and other unanticipated expenses are examples of unexpected expenses.

If a borrower has successfully rebuilt their credit worthiness and has met the requirements of the USDA mortgage after bankruptcy, they may be able to finance a house with a USDA mortgage after filing for bankruptcy.

Consumer bankruptcy may be classified into two types: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It is determined by the kind of bankruptcy that a borrower meets the requirements for obtaining a USDA home loan.

Waiting period for USDA Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Most, if not all, of the debt that is discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing is discharged by the bankruptcy court.

In accordance with USDA loan requirements, a potential borrower will be permitted to get a USDA mortgage when a three-year waiting period has passed.

It may, however, be feasible to reduce the waiting period by using the automated underwriting software provided by the lender. If you're not acquainted with automated underwriting, it is a process in which lenders employ software to examine a borrower's application at the beginning of the process. The program examines the borrower's credit record (including credit built after bankruptcy discharge), income, assets, and other financial information, among other things.

Depending on how the software is feeling on any given day, it may be feasible to gain permission from the program.

Waiting period for USDA Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Man filling out bankruptcy formsChapter 13 bankruptcy permits the debtor to create a repayment plan for any past-due debts and obligations.

After this sort of bankruptcy, the USDA merely requires a 12-month waiting period before resuming operations. Your payment history under the bankruptcy plan, on the other hand, is quite important.

If you are unable to make timely payments to the USDA loan trustee, your USDA loan eligibility will be cancelled.

Your trustee is the final arbiter in the matter. He or she must give you permission to apply for a USDA home loan while still making payments on your Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan.

Reestablish your credit profile

You've paid off your debts or negotiated payment arrangements, and you've decided to put your money toward the purchase of a home. What are you going to do now?
It is critical that you complete the actions outlined below to demonstrate to lenders that your prior difficulties are behind you. As a result, I would want you to complete the following:

Pay your bills on time

Given that your payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score computation, making on-time payments is critical when it comes to restoring your credit after going through a financial crisis. Remember to keep up with other commitments, such as utility payments, as part of maintaining a regular and on-time payment schedule, because they may also contribute to the improvement of your credit score through programs such as Experian Boost.

Instead of using a credit card, pay with cash.

One of the most significant hazards connected with declaring bankruptcy is relapsing into the same bad behaviors that got you into problems in the first place. Make every effort to avoid using your credit cards for any purchases, to the maximum extent possible.

Maintain a low balance on your credit cards.

The amount of outstanding debt you have accounts for 30 percent of your total credit score computation, according to TransUnion. Maintaining a bare minimum of credit card debt is therefore essential for reestablishing credit after filing for bankruptcy. Make an effort to decrease your credit card usage, and make it a priority to pay off the amounts on your cards on a regular basis in order to accomplish this goal.

Save for emergencies.

Try to put money aside for an emergency savings account to meet unforeseen expenses such as auto repairs and medical bills if at all feasible. If you do this, you will be better able to avoid incurring additional debt, which will prevent your credit rehabilitation efforts from stalling or even reversing.

Obtain a Secured Credit Card

Following a bankruptcy filing, making sure you don't abuse your credit cards may be a good first step in rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy. While using secured credit cards responsibly, you may be able to reestablish your reputation as a reliable borrower in the eyes of financial institutions.

The organization that issues the secured credit card will require you to deposit money with them and then borrow money from them in order for you to be approved for one. The interest rates on these cards are often high, but if they report to all three credit bureaus, they may be an effective tool for demonstrating to lenders that you are responsible with your money until you can acquire a conventional credit card with better terms and conditions.

You may even be given the chance to "upgrade" to an unsecured credit card if you complete all of your payments on time and without incurring any penalties with your secured credit card. Because of this, you will not be required to apply for a new credit card in the event that your credit score increases. This is excellent news for you.

It is essential to know that applying for a secured card does not guarantee acceptance; as a result, before applying for one, spend some time reading the requirements of the issuer. If at all feasible, choose a provider that helps you to evaluate whether or not you are likely to qualify before consenting to a comprehensive credit check that can further harm your credit score and reputation.

Consider a credit-building loan.

It is also possible to improve your credit without having to apply for a typical loan by taking advantage of credit builder loans, which are available online.

Inability to pay back the money is not a prerequisite for receiving the loan money. The financial organizations such as banks and credit unions that offer credit-building loans require customers to hold a specific amount of money in an insured savings account or certificate of deposit in their name for a set period of time in order to construct a credit history. Following that, the borrower makes monthly payments that include interest until the loan is totally paid off.

The fact that you have a savings account with your bank may also make it feasible for you to apply for and be approved for a secured loan, which allows you to borrow against the money you already have on hand. In the case of a traditional loan, your financial institution will record your loan repayments to the three major credit bureaus, just as it would with a regular loan. This may, in the long run, help you increase your total score.

How long does it take to get your credit back after bankruptcy?

In most cases, it takes 12-18 months after filing for bankruptcy to rebuild your credit profile, providing that you follow all of the necessary steps to restore your credit. Following the prescribed measures, the great majority of individuals will notice some improvement after one or two years if they stick with it.

An uncorrected bankruptcy will remain on your credit report unless the bankruptcy was documented in an unprofessional manner.


The Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings erase the majority, if not all, of the debt that was filed with the bankruptcy court in the first instance. In order of importance, the following are the top five reasons for filing for bankruptcy: Divorce or separation, job loss, medical expenditures, excessive or poor use of credit, and unanticipated expenses are all reasons to file for bankruptcy.

The USDA mortgage may be available to potential home purchasers after they have declared bankruptcy if they meet the conditions of the waiting period and have successfully restored their credit worthiness. This is true regardless of the reason for the bankruptcy.

SOURCE: USDA Chapter 10: Credit Analysis

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