Maybe 2019 is the year you buy a house. That could happen! You’ve been wanting it for some time but you’ve also been struggling with poor credit or a bad credit score. Maybe that poor credit score came from an ex-spouse or someone else that may have damaged your credit history or report. Maybe you’ve been trying to get it back where it should be over the last few months and now you’d like to look into the possibility of owning your own house.

Many people think that if they have poor or bad credit homeownership is simply not even on the radar. But that’s not necessarily true. I’ve helped hundreds of people find the right loan and program for their needs even those with less than perfect credit scores. There are some things that I want to talk about with potential clients before we jump into the application process. Here are some things you should know if you think you have poor credit but still want to buy a house.

Know what kind of score you really need.

If you have a credit score of at least 660 you have a wide range of options. Credit scores over 700 have even more options with lower interest rates. If you have a credit score lower than 600 you might qualify for an FHA loan (they allow scores down to 500).  You may have to pay a little bit more up front or have a higher interest rate, but it’s not impossible.

Getting into the housing market so you can build equity, take advantage of tax breaks, enjoy home ownership is worth the higher rate up front, You can always refinance down the road to a better rate and remove Mortgage Insurance, once your scores move up with the benefit of current mortgage payments on your credit.

The key is to find out. You don’t know, what you don’t know. Just finding out will give you a good place to start so you know what to work towards.

[Related:  How to Buy a House When Your Partner Has Bad Credit]

Discuss your credit issues with your lender.

Because I am a personal mortgage lender you start the process with me and finish with me. You are not a number and I don’t pass you off to anyone else. There are underwriters with specific loans and banks that need to approve the loan but you’ll be working solely with me throughout the entire transaction. Because I am well aware of dozens of different programs,  we can find one that works for you. I don’t work for one particular bank so I search the best banks for the right loan, rate and program for your needs.

Start working on correcting any errors.

Like I said before, you don’t know what you don’t know. If you don’t have a copy of your credit report you may not know that there are mistakes or errors on it that can be easily corrected. It can be scary to make that final leap into understanding the unknown, but knowledge is half the battle. Simply by knowing what you have and what to work towards, you have more knowledge which equals more power.

There are different options you have with poor credit.

You can make a larger down payment if possible. You can have a higher interest rate and then refinance at a later time when your credit might be a little bit better. You can get an FHA loan with scores as low as 580. They may also be beneficial because it allows a co-borrower to sign as well that doesn’t have to live in the home. Or you can simply rent for a while and work on rebuilding your credit score. Pay your bills on time, pay above and beyond the minimum balance, pay them off but leave them open so it looks like you have available credit. There are multiple ways to build your credit but again, talking with someone who is very familiar with credit scores, how to increase your credit score and how to get the home you want is essential.

Call me today. I would be happy to sit down with you and discuss your options and see how affordable homeownership could be for you.

READ MORE: 5 Ways to Increase Your Credit Score