Bad credit is the hardest obstacle to overcome. Nearly all lenders have scaled back to making only loans which abide by Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac or FHA guidelines, in addition to some that offer programs like VA or USDA.
620 is the cutoff for most programs but some lenders can do FHA down to 580.
The lenders that do non-conforming loans generally require a HUGE (30-50% or more) down payment, and I'm guessing most people, if they had that much money, wouldn't have that poor of credit - they would just pay off their debt and build their credit back up!
If you want to buy a home and you are relying on a mortgage to get there, unfortunately there are no short cuts. You need to get those credit scores up and work on getting your finances in order before you'll be able to get a mortgage.
Best of luck!
It really is on a case by case basis. The first step is finding a mortgage professional that you can trust, then letting them guide you through the process. It sounds like you really do want to get started. Please feel free to give me a call and I will help guide you through the process. It seems overwhelming, but it is better to know where you stand, and what steps you can take to reach your goals.
I look forward to hearing from you,
REMAX ANCHOR REALTY
Morningstar Mortgage, Port Charlotte, FL - Joseph Morningstar, 941-426-7827
Tammy Hayes, Realtor
Re/Max Palm Realty
They ALL turn bad when you break the term of the mortgage agreement.
However, you should take GREAT care that you shadow never touches the threshold of Bank of Ameirica, Chase or Wells Fargo. (And Never Ever Bank of Clearwater FL)
CONTACT a local credit union for the VERY LOWEST costs regarding mortgages.
Choose a local lender with a history of investing in your community. Enter your city or zip and take your pick of the "A' and "B" graded lenders. http://www.BankingGrades.com
Call a local REALTOR(r) who can assess your situation, the type of property you are consider and have them refer you to a mortgage broker who has a track record of closing on time, under budget and without the hysteria.
Best of success.