In MN I suggest you check out http://www.hocmn.org to find a home ownership counselor in your area, and have a detailed discussion of your housing plans with someone who isn't trying to sell you something.
You would be looking at C4D if you have credit issues and think you can resolve those during the contract period, typically three to five years. This gets you into a house at a predetermined price. The lien holder for the contract probably will not report your payments to a credit bureau so your credit may not be improved.
With rates so low it may be best to see what you have to do to qualify for either FHA or 5% down conventional with prepaid MI. Not only will you save money (3.5% to 5% down vs. 20% down on the C4D), you will probably get a better deal in the house as well (C4D homes are usually higher priced). Good luck with your search!
I'm an agent in the Fargo-Moorhead and surrounding areas. The previous post from the Roseville agent, I believe, is great advice. In a nutshell: Be prepared to offer a large down payment (10% or greater), know that inventory will be limited, and work on traditional financing to be able to take over the loan on your own after the first couple years.
In our market right now there is a significantly smaller number of homes available under contract-for-deed (CFD) because of the risks involved for both parties and the affect CFD can have on the sellers borrowing ability for their next home. But it's not impossible with a little patience.
1) Most contract for deeds start at around 10% for down payment, and some may even want 20%. Keep saving like crazy and you won't miss a property because of this.
2) There will be limited inventory compared to traditional real estate. Start looking immediately and you should be fine with May/June
Seller financing is a great path to home ownership when no other options are available on the table. Both contract for deed and lease options have their pros & cons. The important thing for every buyer in this situation would be coming up with a game-plan for traditional financing.
If you can't get traditional financing now then figure out why. From there figure out your timeline it would take to qualify traditionally. Work towards that goal always, because a contract for deed is not meant to be long term financing in most situations.