I think theyre great! Yes you can get approved with a 653! You probably don't need to get your scores up anymore. There are Lenders that can do a 600 mid score home loan. They just aren't always easy to find and some try to over charge you on the rate and fee's. I have had a lot of my clients with 640-650 scores approved for a home loan with The Lenders Network, not bad rates either. If anyone can you get approved they can!
There is nothing wrong with shop around for a mortgage broker that can explore all your financing status and advice you properly. If for any reason you do not get pre approved for certain amount, they can be able to guide you to the right path.
There is a local lender there in Hernando that you can contact the name of the company is Fairway Mortgage ask for Doug Capps 662-429-5100 ext 105. Give him a call I believe you will be glad you did. If you have any questions please feel free to give me a call 901-497-5352.
Score wise, you're in the clear from what many loan officers have told us (think 640 is where they want you to be), so you might as well see where you stand. Of course, your debt to loan ratio will play a role too. I'd be glad to point you to some reputable options for a good local lender contact (local is great because you as a buyer can stay 'in the know' easier). Best of luck!!