First, work on increasing your credit score. This is very important, because most lenders will review your credit report when deciding whether or not to extend you a loan after bankruptcy.
This is true whether you are talking about a car loan after bankruptcy, a conventional home loan after bankruptcy, or a personal loan after bankruptcy.
So how do you increase your credit score? There are a number of ways. One is by removing any inaccurate or obsolete negative information from your credit reports. Another way is to open some new accounts and pay them in a timely manner over time. There are more ways to increase your credit score, but I don't have enough space to cover them here.
Second, you will need to know which lenders to approach when it comes to applying for a loan after bankruptcy. For example, if you apply for with a lender that doesn't accept applicants that have a recent bankruptcy on their credit report then you never had a chance to begin with.
So how do you know which lender to approach? Ask questions. This is critical when applying for a loan after bankruptcy. What kind of questions should you ask? While there are several, let me give you two as an example:
1) Do you consider applicants who have a bankruptcy on their credit report?
The lender will probably want to know how old the bankruptcy is, whether it was discharged or dismissed, etc.. You will want to have that information available should the lender consider extending you a loan after bankruptcy.
2) What are your qualification guidelines?
Most lenders have a minimum criteria that applicants must meet in order to qualify for a loan. For example, if you apply for a home loan after bankruptcy, the lender will probably require a minimum credit score, a minimum debt to income ratio, etc. in order to qualify for the loan. You need to find out what the lenders' minimum criteria is before you apply for a loan after bankruptcy.
Finally, after you've increased your credit score and found a lender who will consider your application for a loan after bankruptcy you will need to negotiate the terms such as the interest rate, finance
charges, down payment, etc.
This is where a lot of people get taken advantage of when it comes to getting a loan after bankruptcy. Some lenders will act like they are doing you a "favor" and tack a pile of interest on top of the loan - and add extra finance charges. Depending on what you're financing, this can add $100s or even $1,000s to your loan after bankruptcy. In After Bankruptcy Credit Solutions, I cover specific strategies you can use to stop lenders who try to take advantage of your situation.
Now you know some specific steps you can take before applying for a loan after bankruptcy which could help increase your chances of qualifying - as well as what to watch out for once you've found a lender who will extend you a loan after bankruptcy.