Lending guidelines differ based on your region, but in general it's a good idea to shore up your credit issues before you buy a house. Typically, bad credit is an indicator that other aspects of your budget are out of balance and need to be corrected. There is nothing wrong with renting for a few years while you improve your financial situation. As Dave Ramsey says: If you buy a house when you're broke, Murphy will move in. A furnace will go out, the roof will develop a leak, or other expensive issues will pop up at the absolute worst time. Rent for a while, build your credit scores, and save up a 20%+ down payment so you can obtain a reasonable home loan.