Also, if you 't have a lot of open credit you need to establish some.
http://dallasloanguy.com/docs/about_credit.pdf <= read this free e-book about credit and let me know if I can answer any questions.
You should really get with a lender in your area who can spend the time necessary with you to view your profile and see what can be done to improve your credit. Paying on a debt after the damage is done does very little if anything. You want to make good decisions going forward. If you have good debt like credit cards keep them at or below 50 or even 40% of your limit. Pay anything that appears on your credit report on time or early.
You may also want to set up a secured credit card with a bank that reports to the credit bureaus. You can do this by establishing a CD with say $500 or more. The bank then gives you a credit card for that amount and you use it just like a regular card. This way you get an additional trade line and you will eventually be able to get a secured card in a year or so.
Good luck with your credit rebuilding..... keep up the good work and you will be able to buy a house sooner rather than later.
Tom Burris's book will be an excellent resource for you. He's one sharp guy! The only thing that I'll add is that if you can negotiate with the lender and tell them that you will pay them off in full if they remove it from your credit it might work to help you. In the past I've seen that happen successfully.
Job history works !
Income is great !
You will need 3.5 or more down payment plus closing costs
If you have been late pay for each account it will tank your scores by approx. 30 pts.
Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
Cell: (817) 944-8094
Office: (817) 447-4443
Fax: (469) 621-2152