Define bad credit. It may not be as bad as you think. I would recommend you talk to a local mortgage banker, not a big bank but someone local who specializes in writing mortgages. I work with Annie Mac Home Mortgage and have found them to be excellent. You may find a different company but that is the kind of lender I recommend. Let them look at your entire situation and tell you what you can do today, what kinds of programs there are, and if not today, then what do you need to do and how long will you have to wait in order to buy. If the time frame is too far out, then rent to own may be an option, but find out ALL your options before making that decision.
Oh, and if you don't know of a good lender, call a realtor and ask to be referred. Realtors know who in the area is good and can get the job done.