All the feedback you have received seems to be generally true. Realistically, the lower target score you should reach for is a 640. Although there are programs out there to possibly get you in a home with a lower score, you will have to put much more "skin-in-the-game" (money down).
To get to that 640, I reccommend contacting a high-quality lender that also manages or contains a credit services department. I have a great lender who can help you manage your debt-to-income goals, help you increase your "managed debt" footprint, and help you with raising your score, all at no cost from them for this service. Their specialty is helping home "wanters" become home buyers!
Contact me if you'd like the name and contact info of a team of great people that I work with that specialize in helping individuals just like yourself.
"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they've made a difference.
The Marines don't have that problem."
- President Ronald Reagan.
Thomas S Moore III, BSRE, CDPE, GRI, PLC
First thing, don't feel bad about your score. There are a lot of people whose credit has been dinged, bruised and mangled. There are programs that can be obtained with a 580. You will want to talk to a lender that has several options for you. The big banks lend their money mostly and are limited to what they will do. The mortgage brokers have some flexibility because they can use other banks monies. The scores usually change monthly so depending on when you received this score, you may be surprised what it is. My lender has stated that some of the reports on the internet are different from an actual mortgage report. The scores for auto lending are different from credit cards and mortgages. I have had some mortgages declined because they don't have enough credit so be aware that if the accounts are closed, then you may not have enough trade lines. That will entail getting more credit and seasoning them for some time.
The lending process can be challenging but think how many people out there own homes. If you can stick with the guidance from a good lender, you will be enjoying the benefits of your own home soon. You must find a good realtor (me) to help navigate the negotiations and find you your best deal. I have been in lending so I am very familiar with the loan process and I have a lender who has a program that will give you money to help offset the costs of buying a home. I enjoy helping the buyer through the process. Give me a call, text or email and I can go over the details. Let us help set you up with someone that can get a plan going for you.
Thanks for posting your question,
I know a lender who has been in the business for more than 23 years. He's seen it all, send me a note and I'll give you his information.