I suppose it depends on what you mean by "poor" credit.
Factors considered by lenders when making a loan are:
Income stability, assets and available cash, property appraisal, current debts and credit history, debt-to-income ratio (your monthly mortgage payment -piti- plus your other monthly debt obligations must not exceed around 36% of your gross (pre-tax) monthly income) and lastly housing-expense-to-income ratio (your monthly mortgage payment must not exceed around 28% of your gross monthly income).
These percentages vary, but the numbers given above are a good rule of thumb.
As you see, all but one of the above issues (appraisal) relate to the borrower. It is close to impossible to get a loan from a reputable lender at market rate when you do not fit into the conventional/FHA/VA guidelines for these factors because loans are often bundled and sold and only loans meeting these guidelines may be bundled with other like-loans.
Your avenue for a loan then narrows significantly: (1) small local banks or credit unions may lend you their own money (I recently helped a couple of borrowers find this type of lender) (2) hard money loans, limited by the SAFE Act (3) owner financing, including mortgage, contract for deed, lease option.
It is without doubt best for you to look at option (1) above. Failing that options 2 and 3 have certain dangers which you need to understand. Should you wish me to go through these options with you, give me a call at 502-254-9600.
Below is part of an (as yet unedited) article I'm about to publish on creative finance. This part relates to the SAFE Act.
Hard Money Loans and Private Mortgages
Prior to 2008 anyone with a few thousand dollars and a bucket of paint to make a sign saying "Loans Here" could be in the mortgage business and make "hard money loans" (high interest loans, often under draconian terms).Then came the housing bubble bust and with it the pendulum swung the other way in the form of the Federal Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act, commonly referred to as the SAFE Act. Kentucky enacted its own version of the SAFE ACT in 2009, under which any lending secured by real estate became virtually impossible unless one was a licensed mortgage broker or bank. The 2 minor exceptions made were to allow an individual lender to make a private loan to (1) an immediate family member and (2) to any person buying the seller / lender's own primary residence.
Then in early 2011, a third exception was promulgated: the Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions announced that investor buyers would no longer be subject to the terms of the SAFE Act. This was extremely important to the real estate investor community who would regularly use hard money loans to finance the purchase and renovation of, for example, quick flips homes or who are following other strategies requiring money fast without a lot of bureaucratic paperwork. Even though the interest rate is high, they use the money for only a short time (1 day to 3 years), so the actual amount of interest paid is relatively small and thus not cost prohibitive.
In late 2012 a 4th exception to the SAFE Act was introduced according to which certain private entities such as individuals, partnerships, LLCs, C Corps, S Corps, land trusts etc, are allowed to make up to four mortgage loans within a 12 month period provided they do not intend to resell the loan to a third party and that the lender does not publicize itself as being a mortgage lender. Various other restrictions apply including compelling the lender to make certain disclosures to the borrower and to safe keep certain records.
The net effect of these 4 exceptions is that, though we are not yet back to the IBG YBG hey days of the housing bubble, we have reached a point where hard money lending can again play an important but restricted role in the housing industry. But for the most part, incautious borrowers with poor credit scores, bankruptcies, foreclosures, deeds in lieu, no verifiable or too little income, or too much debt will be protected from unscrupulous hard money savages who may have ripped them off.