1) First, know what you credit score is. Get this by contacting Equifax by phone or email, or creditreport.com.
2) Contact Jeff at Trident Mortage, (504) 232-9127...he can best help you as a mortgage professional, and give you some direction as to what and how to repair your credit.
3) What debt do you have? You need to add up all your credit card and other debt.
4) Katrina was 3 years ago. From a finance point of view, the compassion for that is over. At the end of the day, a finance person in an office in Chicago looking at a potential loan from you is not going to care how many children you have nor Katrina, nor the price of gas, etc. What finance people DO care about is:
A) Cash is king...how much money are you able to put aside each month?
B) What do you owe? Long term and short term debt?
C) Are you living within your means? This means, at the end of the month, do you have anything left over? Got a big truck payment...maybe get rid of it and get something more affordable. Going to McDonalds twice a week? Don't go at all...get some eggs and cook at the house. These are small steps that lead to excellent credit, one less big Mac at a time.
D) What assets do you have? List them on a piece of paper and discuss with your partner how to build on these...or sell some to get rid of debt.
Once you have control over A through D, with a plan for the future...then you can make steps to home ownership.
There are many opportunities to own a piece of Louisiana...through the Bond programs, first time homebuyers and so on. Take care of the items noted above, and you will be able to more effectively focus on the future of owning a home.