A: Yes, there are lenders who will approve scores less than 600 but with a 600 or even 620 or 640 you'll have more options.
With scores less than 600 it usually is indicative of some bad credit at some point. With bad credit, all is not lost, because it depends on just how bad the credit is. You know your scores, so likely you also know what is on your credit report, and that is just as important as your scores. How has your past 12-36 months of credit history been?
FHA mortgages require a 500 credit score, and most FHA lenders minimum score requirements tend to be 600, 620, or 640 - with FHA anything less than a 580 score requires a 10% down payment, otherwise just 3.5% down is required.
VA mortgages have no score requirement, but VA lenders score requirements are similar to FHA's. VA is 100% financing for Veteran's.
USDA Rural Development mortgages are 100% financing, and have no score requirement - however if you go through a lender most will have 620 or 640 minimum scores, but if you go Direct to USDA they do not have any minimum score requirements, but it takes a little bit longer - Madison is not an eligible area. http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do to check the eligible areas and also if your income is not too high/within eligibility limits as well.
Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac mortgage programs require a 620 score, however with less than 20% down you will likely need at least 660-680 scores.
a credit counselor. He is excellent and is very reasonable with his fees. Please email me at email@example.com, I will give you his contact information. Judy Braund, Keller Williams Realty 608-235-0431
hope that helps.
But if you have a good job and good income, you shouldn't have any problem raising your credit score to an acceptable level.