Hello, Some FHA lenders have just announced they will make loans for borrowers who have FICO scores as low as 580. A 10% down payment is required. I know a great loan officer in Calabasas who can counsel you to get your scores up and set you on the path to homeownership. Please feel free to contact me.
Why are your scores in the 500s? Do you have late payments, judgments or open collection accounts? If you have not shown you know how to pay bills don't expect to get a mortgage. If you have alot of student loans that have balances higher then you started with then you will be able to get a mortgage (if you have the income).
Alot depends on you, so I would suggest you consult an experienced loan officer.
Without knowing overall financials, etc., consider visiting with any qualified loan officer(s)--after reviewing your file, he/she can make a determination as to qualification--your loan officer may also have great suggestions as to how to improve your credit in the fastest time--then go from there.
Your bets bet is going to be to meet with a local and trusted loan officer, they can look at yoru financials and credit and let you know if you quailify for any mortgage snow or what you will have to do in order to get quailified in teh future.
Please see my blog with some tips and advice on getting a mortgage