Making a major purchase, like an ATV, is more difficult after a bankruptcy -- but not impossible. A bankruptcy damages your credit and makes creditors less likely to lend to you, and when they do, they may charge high interest rates. Because of all this, you must make preparations before making your ATV purchase. Unlike the pre-bankruptcy days when all you needed was a signature, you may now need a major down payment, a rejuvenated credit history and even a co-signer. While no two cases are identical, you can take certain steps toward repairing your credit that make buying your ATV easier.
Save your money. With a bankruptcy on your credit report, you will certainly need to make a down payment on your ATV. The amount of this down payment depends on the dealership from which you purchase the ATV, but no matter what, you will need one. Don't be tempted to simply save up the entire cost of the ATV and pay cash -- a major purchase like this is an opportunity to restore your credit, so don't waste it by paying cash for the entire thing.
Apply for a line of credit with your bank at least six months before you want to buy your ATV. To get a line of credit from your ATV dealer, you will need a line of credit with a payment history. With your history, the bank may give you a card with a small credit limit and a high interest rate. Use it to make minor purchases and make payments on time each month for six months to build up your credit score.
Contact local ATV dealers and ask if they provide financing to persons with a bankruptcy. Smaller and local dealers may be more willing to grant you leniency with providing financing options -- nationwide dealers and chains are more likely to have strict policies that prevent you from getting financing. You may also ask if they accept co-signers on your financing. A parent or trusting relative may be willing to co-sign your financing, though you may have difficulty justifying your ATV purchase to them as a necessity.
Visit dealers in search of a deal. It may be easier to negotiate a deal -- including financing -- during the off-season, or when the dealership is trying to sell off older models to make room for new ones.
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.