Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young adults in the United States. One of the many risk factors for suicide includes exposure to early life trauma. The present study examined whether rumination and impulsivity play a role in the relationship between early life trauma and increased risk for suicidal behavior (i.e., suicide ideation and suicide attempts) among 426 young adults. Early life trauma was associated with brooding, reflective rumination, and impulsivity in the form of negative urgency. Current or recent suicide ideators self-reported greater early life trauma, ruminative thinking, and impulsivity than non-ideators and non-attempters. Further, a multinomial logistic regression found that early life trauma, reflection, lack of premeditation, and lack of perseverance were associated with higher odds of reporting suicide ideation in the previous 6 months. We also found indirect relationships between early life trauma and suicide ideation through brooding or reflection and lack of perseverance in serial mediation analyses. These findings suggest that early life trauma may increase risk of suicide ideation to the degree that it leads to ruminative thinking and lack of follow-through with difficult tasks. How early life trauma might increase risk for ruminative thinking, impulsivity, and subsequent suicidal behavior is discussed.