The most important question that a mortgage lender will ask you is regarding your credit. They will be hoping that you will have good to excellent credit, but even if you have poor credit, there are still options for you.
Use a mortgage broker. They can be more helpful than a regular lender because they will present your information to several different lenders giving you a higher chance of finding someone to grant you loan. Going to one specific lender will only give you that one chance and you will likely have to go to several on your own and waste more of your time before finding a lender who is willing to work with you.
You will need to know what you are working with. Request copies of your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus. These are Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. You will also want to obtain your credit score from each of these as well. They usually will take the middle of your two scores when considering you for a loan.
It is even more important to compare before settling on a mortgage. This is because some lenders will be able to get you better rates than others. With poor credit, you will be tempted to jump on the first offer, but you must remember that the first offer is not always the best one. Shop around and compare before committing to one.
If your credit is so poor that you are unable to find anyone to give you loan there is still another option for you. If your bad credit is a result of unfortunate circumstances especially those beyond your control, you may be able to find a family member or a friend who would be willing to cosign for you. This would allow you to improve your credit with a mortgage and at the same time give the lender the comfort of knowing there is someone with good or excellent credit behind you that will help you out if you should have troubles. This will also help you to get a better rate than one you would otherwise get on your own.
Especially with bad credit, you have to carefully research any company you are considering using before you give them any of your critical information. There are so many scams out there that prey on those with bad credit by making promises that seem too good to be true. Odds are if it sounds too good to be true—it is. As cliché as that sounds, it is usually true. Make sure you check them out with the better business bureau, ask for references, and read all the fine print on any literature that you obtain. The last thing you need to do is dig a deeper hole that will prevent you from getting a loan for even longer.
Bankruptcy is also not a reason to prohibit you from qualifying for a loan. As long as a bankruptcy is more than 2 years in the past, you should still be able to qualify for some type of mortgage. It will likely have a higher interest rate resulting in higher payments. Some lenders will even work with you with a bankruptcy that is only a year in the past, but no more recent than that.