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Ask the Experts

What Is a Foreclosure's Impact on Buying Another Home?

Ways to make a comeback after credit score takes hit

En español | Q. My sister went through a foreclosure. Will she ever be able to own a home again?

A. In time, perhaps. A foreclosure can reduce a credit score by 150 points and stay on a credit report for seven years.

See also: Boosting credit, reducing debt.

Man walking by house - with time one can rebuild one's credit score after a foreclosure.

You can rebuild your credit score and own a home again. — Photo by Stephen Lam/San Francisco Chronicle/Corbis

But here are ways to help a comeback:

  • Work at a steady job.
  • Build up at least six months of savings to show you could pay your mortgage if you lost your job.

Fannie Mae, the mortgage giant, generally allows new loan applications in three years if a foreclosure was due to job loss, divorce or unexpected medical bills.

You may also like: Take AARP's savings challenge. >>

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