A credit score in your range typically isn't too difficult to get above 620, where most lenders require it to be to buy. If you do have a lender that says they can lend with your score lower, be careful. If you open escrow on a property, and start spending money on a home inspection and appraisal, and the lender can't perform, you have just lost about $800. Also, do not give any lender money up front to get you approved. Whatever you do, be careful.
If you do decide you want to buy, rates and prices are great right now. While the government has been manipulating everything, it is impossible to predict the future, but buying is typically cheaper than renting. It definitely would seem that things cant get better as far as buying right now. With the down payment assistance programs, you can be very close to owning instead of renting.