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Credit repair after foreclosure

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All hope isn’t lost after foreclosure. Find out how to rebuild your credit and get another mortgage.

A foreclosure can be a devastating blow to your credit, but it doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to buy a home again. With the right steps, you can build your credit score and apply for credit, loans and even a mortgage. Learn how a foreclosure affects your credit score and what you can do right now to start repairing your credit.

How does a foreclosure affect your credit score?

A foreclosure can lower your credit score by as much as 160 points. If you already have blemishes on your credit report, such as repossessions, tax liens or bankruptcy, a foreclosure could affect your credit more significantly than if your credit score was in good condition. In either case, you likely won’t be able to apply for a mortgage loan for three to seven years after a foreclosure, depending on your circumstances.

9 tips for credit repair after foreclosure

All hope isn’t lost after foreclosure, though. Use this time to take a closer look at your finances so you can work on repairing your credit and planning for the future. Follow these steps to repair your credit after foreclosure.

  1. Keep accounts paid to date
    Don’t fall behind on other payments just because you’re going through a foreclosure. Staying up to date on all other bills will help to pad your credit score and show future lenders that you’re able to make payments on time.
  2. Keep old accounts open
    Using credit cards and paying off loans are some of the quickest ways to boost your credit score. So, keep your old accounts open and pay down your debt to show creditors that you’re able to manage your money and use credit wisely.
  3. Identify the cause of the foreclosure
    Before you can fix a problem, you have to know what caused it in the first place. Assess your finances and spending history to figure out what caused your missed mortgage payments. Did you go through a job loss, divorce or medical issues that made money tight? Was it because of a miscalculated debt-to-income ratio? Identify the problem, then work toward fixing it to avoid another loan default.
  4. Get professional help
    Credit counselors can help you make a budget and debt management plan, and they can also negotiate lower interest rates on existing loans. However, be cautious of working with debt settlement companies that suggest you purposely stop paying your current debts so that they can settle them, as this could make your credit even worse. Instead, choose reputable, certified credit counselors who works with you to better manage your debt and rebuild your credit.
  5. Apply for a secured credit card
    If you don’t already have a credit card, getting one and diligently making payments on it can help to rebuild your credit. If your foreclosure is keeping you from getting approved for a regular credit card, apply for a secured credit card. These cards require a deposit, have a low maximum spending amount and often don’t require a credit check.
  6. Don’t take out new loans
    While getting a secured credit card can help you rebuild your credit score, taking on a new car loan or personal loan isn’t a good idea right now because it increases your debt-to-income ratio. Work on paying down your existing debt before applying for new loans.
  7. Adjust your spending habits
    Take a closer look at your bank statements and see if there are ways you can trim down on spending. For example, spending $5 each workday on a cup of coffee adds up to $100 a month that could be put toward paying off debt or into savings instead.
  8. Save money
    While rebuilding your credit, try to save as much money as you can. This way when you do go to buy a house again, you’ll have a hefty down payment saved, which can up your odds of being approved for a mortgage. Plus, the more money you put down, the less you’ll have to finance.
  9. Give it time
    Repairing your credit after foreclosure takes some time, so try to be patient and focus on the improvements you can make to better your credit in the meantime. It might seem like a daunting task, but with time and planning, getting good credit back after foreclosure is absolutely possible.

When can I buy a house after a foreclosure?

It depends on your individual circumstances and the type of loan you’re applying for. For conventional mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, you’ll have to wait a minimum of three years if an extenuating circumstance — like a job loss, divorce, medical emergency or other major life event — caused you to miss mortgage payments. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait seven years before being eligible for this type of loan again.

You could get an FHA loan as soon as one year after foreclosure if you can prove that an extenuating circumstance was the cause. VA loans typically require that you wait two years after foreclosure to apply for another mortgage. If you’re borrowing from a credit union that offers mortgage loans, you may have more flexibility when applying for another mortgage after foreclosure.

Start your credit repair journey with these services

Details Features
Self Lender — Credit Builder Account
Self Lender — Credit Builder Account
Savings account that helps you build credit.
  • No hard credit inquiry
  • Available in all 50 states
  • It typically takes 60 days for new accounts to appear on credit reports
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The Credit People
The Credit People
Professionals work with you to clean up your credit and raise your credit scores. Cancel anytime.
  • 7-day trial for $19
  • Get access to your credit reports
  • Most customers see results within 2 months
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CreditRepair.com
CreditRepair.com
Online credit repair service.
  • Credit report repair
  • 24/7 credit monitoring and alerts
  • Score tracker and analysis
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CuraDebt: Tax Debt Relief Free Consultation
CuraDebt: Tax Debt Relief Free Consultation
Debt relief professionals helping individuals and small businesses nationwide.
  • Free consultation and 100% confidential
  • 15+ years experience
  • Debt relief help for credit cards, medical bills and taxes
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The Credit Pros: Legal Credit Repair
The Credit Pros: Legal Credit Repair
Online credit repair service that gives free consultations.
  • Delete inaccurate information on your credit report
  • Practical, honest credit advice from professionals
  • Get help setting realistic, reachable credit goals
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Lexington Law Credit Repair
Lexington Law Credit Repair
Law firm that specializes in credit repair.
  • Remove incorrect listings from your credit file
  • Get free access to your credit report
  • Personalized credit repair services
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CreditFirm.net
CreditFirm.net
Professional credit repair service that can help you create a step by step action plan. Cancel anytime.
  • Free credit consultation
  • Over 15 years of credit repair experience
  • Get help optimizing your credit file
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Details Features
myFICO
myFICO
Get quarterly access to your most widely used FICO® Scores and a 3-bureau credit report
  • Get quarterly access to your most widely used FICO® Scores
  • Credit report change alerts
  • FICO® Score analysis
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Experian Credit Report
Experian Credit Report
Get your credit report and FICO score for just $1 with enrollment in Experian CreditWorks credit monitoring. Cancel anytime.
  • 3 credit reports
  • Track your FICO® score
  • Easy to use dashboard
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TransUnionCredit Report
TransUnionCredit Report
TransUnion credit score, monitoring and identity theft insurance.
  • Unlimited updates to your TransUnion credit score
  • Up to $1,000,000 in identity theft insurance
  • Personalized debt analysis
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Equifax Business Credit Monitor
Equifax Business Credit Monitor
Monitor your key business relationships to protect your company from losses.
  • Bankruptcy Alert
  • Derogatory Alerts
  • New Inquiry Alert
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GoFreeCredit.com
GoFreeCredit.com
$1 for a seven-day trial to get access to your credit score and credit report from TransUnion.
  • Credit reports from all 3 bureaus
  • Email alerts when your credit report changes
  • Up to $1,000,000 in identity theft insurance
Go to site More info

Bottom line

Nobody goes into buying a home expecting a foreclosure to happen, but the reality is that many people will experience one. If you’re going through the process, know that this blemish on your credit report won’t stay with you forever. It’s possible to buy another house down the road if you take the necessary steps now to rebuild your credit and shore up a realistic budget and debt management plan.

Frequently asked questions

Gabrielle Pastorek

Gabrielle Pastorek writes about fashion, beauty and finance. Gabrielle loves helping people find a great deal, whether it's in their shopping cart or on a credit card. In her free time, she exercises her creative muscles by writing short stories.

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