Can I Get a VA Loan after Declaring Bankruptcy?

Robin Kocherhans Robin Kocherhans / Published Oct 15, 2018, 9:00 AM

Man looking stressed after declaring bankruptcy

If you declare bankruptcy, this has the potential to affect when and if you can get a VA loan. Part of that has to do with how your credit score is impacted by filing—it can drop your score up to 240 points.

However, despite these challenges, you can still qualify, though the details will differ depending on which type of bankruptcy you filed for.

Getting a VA Loan After Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

With Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you have to wait a full two years from the discharge date before you can qualify for a VA loan. Other requirements after the two year wait time include:

  • Reestablishing a good credit history
  • Compiling a full explanation of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy
  • Providing proof of a stable job

Even though a Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not eliminate the possibility of a VA home loan, it does create more requirements and wait time.

Getting a VA Loan After Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Because Chapter 13 bankruptcy deals with the repayment of debt rather than the liquidation of assets, it differs slightly from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Like Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 also has a required wait time before you can receive approval for a VA home loan. However, instead of two years, you can apply for a VA home loan after only a year, as long as you've made every single payment on time.

To verify your payment history over the past year, the court trustee must give their written approval for the loan to be approved. In addition, you must still provide a full explanation of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy, just like you would for Chapter 7.

Improving Your Credit after Bankruptcy

While the VA and some lenders, including Low VA Rates, don't have minimum credit score requirements, some VA lenders do. And even without a minimum requirement, having a good credit score can simplify and streamline the process of getting a VA loan.

That's why you should spend the waiting period after declaring bankruptcy working to improve your credit score as much as possible. If you're not sure how to do that, feel free to contact one of our team members at Low VA Rates. We've helped veterans improve their score in the past, and would love to help you improve yours as well.