Beware of "Bad Credit, No Problem"

Beware of Credit Offers Aimed at Recent Bankruptcy Filers

Be wary of auto dealers, mortgage brokers and lenders who advertise: “Bankruptcy? Bad Credit? No Credit? No Problem!”  They may give you a loan after bankruptcy, but at a very high cost.  The extra costs and fees on these loans can make it impossible for you to keep up the loan payments.  Getting this kind of loan can ruin your chances to rebuild your credit.

Mortgage Loans

If you own your home, some home improvement contractors, loan brokers and mortgage lenders may offer to give you a home equity loan despite your credit history.  These loans can be very costly and can lead to serious financial problems and even the loss of your home.  Avoid mortgage lenders that:

* Charge excessive interest rates, “points,” brokers’ fees and other closing costs;

* Require that you refinance your current lower interest mortgage or pay off other debts;

* Add on unnecessary and costly products, like credit insurance;

* Make false claims of low monthly payments based on a “teaser” variable interest rate;

* Include a “balloon” payment term that requires you to pay all or most of the loan amount in a lump sum as the last payment;

* Charge a prepayment penalty if you pay off the loan early;

* Change the terms at closing;

* Make false promises that the rate will be reduced later if you make timely payments;

* Pressure you to keep refinancing the loan for no good reason once you get it.

Source: Using Credit Wisely After Bankruptcy Pamphlet, National Consumer Law Center, Boston, MA, www.nclc.org.