There are companies that specialize in credit repair and can usually get some increase in your credit score. This is because by law the credit agencies must inform you of certain negative things that they post. They don't do that because it is too expensive. Instead they remove it when it is brought to their attention that they did not properly inform you. It usally takes about 60 days to get any increase through the process. Even a small increase could make a difference in your situation. Search for Credit Repair or Restoration services in your local yellow pages or with a local google search. Make sure you check them out first before choosing one. Good Luck.
The chances aren't as good as they used to be, but there are some programs out there that can work wonders. There is much more information that is looked at than just your credit score, such as income, job history, and any debt.
Contact a lender to see what options you might have. If you don't have any, you should have a better idea on what needs to change and/or improve in order to be approved in the future.
I don't know what you consider 'really bad' but 620 is the magic number. Lease to purchase was given as an option but that is not as easily done as said in Midland. PimeLending does an excellent job of reviewing your credit score and helping you if there are items on your credit that shouldn't be there. They are not a credit repair company but Tena can guide you in ways to improve your credit score.
With really bad credit scores (under 620 especially) it's extraordinarily difficult to get a mortgage. There are companys out there than can help you get your credit history straightened out, sometime by rather easy tweeks that you can do. The problem is that it's difficult to determine who you can trust and who you can't. I would first contact a lender to discuss it with them and then ask them if they know of a credit restoration service.
Depends--just how bad is the score--if you haven't done so yet, do visit with any qualified loan officer(s), see if you qualify, how much, the type of loan, and have your credit score checked, as their scoring is often different--if your credit needs improvement, your loan officer may suggest great ways to quickly improve the score--then go from there.