There are lenders who will look at your total history of of debt. If you have an excellent income and have 20% down, their main concern would be if you would pay the mortgage. You should pull all 3 of your credit reports and examine, first of all, if there is any incorrect information. If there is, you can challenge it and ask that it be removed (must notify all 3 credit reporting agencies). They will then issue an inquiry to the vendor that is claiming you had poor credit with them, will advise them that you are protesting it, and they will have 30 days to tell their side. If the vender does not get back to the credit reporting agencies within the 30 days, it is my understanding that the reporting agencies are required to remove the negative information. Sometimes, there will be things on your credit due to someone else have the same name or a similar name. If you have "legitimate" bad credit items on your record, PAY THEM OFF NOW even if you think you already did! You can put a note of explanation into your file about it. If they are not too serious, you missed one credit card payment on one account in 5 years of having the card, point that out to the lender. Insist that they look at your total profile. CONSIDER GOING TO A LOCAL BANK OR CREDIT UNION that knows you, your employer and ask them to check your rental history and your history of paying your utilities. These are ways to CLEAN UP YOUR CREDIT (do not ever pay someone to do it - that's a scam) so that you can get a house. NOW IS A GREAT TIME TO BUY. PRICES HAVE FALLEN ALMOST EVERYWHERE! Good luck to you.