How to Buy a House With Bad Credit

Table of Contents

Bad credit does not have to be a deal-breaker. There are several options available to those who are looking to buy a home with bad credit. These include down payment assistance, government programs, and a co-signer. In addition to the aforementioned options, there are also several ways to improve your credit score.

Down payment assistance

Down payment assistance programs are designed to help people who do not have enough money to make the down payment on a house. Some of these programs give free money, and some offer low-interest loans. Some also waive the closing costs. These programs are widely available. Most of them come in the form of grants. Some are national, while others are state-based.

Government programs

First-time home buyers can often qualify for home loan programs that help them buy a house despite poor credit and low income. Many of these programs require little or no money up front and offer low interest rates. Some sellers also offer down payment assistance programs.


A co-signer is an individual who lends money to help a borrower secure a loan. The person may be a friend or family member who is willing to share some of the responsibility of the loan. Using a trusted co-signer can help you qualify for low-interest loans for those with good credit or excellent credit.

Boosting credit score

Buying a house with bad credit can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. While you’ll likely need to pay more for the house and pay higher interest rates, it’s possible to buy a house with bad credit and build your credit. The key is knowing where to start and how to advocate for yourself.

Government-backed loans

Government-backed loans to buy a house are available for people with bad credit, and they can be easier to qualify for than conventional loans. These loans also require less money down than conventional loans. In fact, many government-backed loans require zero down. The VA and USDA are two government-backed programs that offer zero down home loans. Conforming mortgage loans, also known as conventional loans, are offered by private lenders. They usually require a 20 to 30-percent down payment. Those with bad credit should avoid this type of mortgage if possible.

Waiting to buy a house with bad credit

If your credit is low, the waiting period to buy a house can be a good way to build your credit score and save for a down payment. Most conventional mortgages require a minimum FICO(r) score of 620, while FHA mortgage criteria are more lenient, accepting scores as low as 500. There are many lenders who can accommodate borrowers with a wide range of credit scores, including subprime mortgages.

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