I found this article to be very helpful and realistic. Major point is to start with your loan officer…
If you have a credit score that’s considered fair, poor or even bad, you may be assuming that qualifying for a mortgage is out of the question. While that’s true for some would-be borrowers who need to improve their finances as well as their credit, there are some mortgage options for homebuyers with less than perfect credit.
Your Credit Profile
Mortgage lenders rely heavily on your credit score to evaluate your qualifications for a home loan because your score indicates how you have handled credit in the past, which serves as a predictor of your future repayment pattern. According to Credit.com, excellent credit gets a score of 750 or above; good credit, 700-749; fair, 650-699; poor, 600-649; and bad credit is a score under 600.
Rather than guess at your credit profile, you need to request your free credit report and pay a small fee to get your credit score from http://www.annualcreditreport.com. Fix any errors and take steps to improve your score with improved financial behavior before applying for a mortgage loan. A lender can help you determine which steps will boost your credit score fastest (to continue reading, click on link)
via How to Get a Mortgage With Bad Credit – Finance – realtor.com.
NEW YORK CNNMoney — Borrowers with some federally insured mortgages will be able to refinance into lower interest rate loans more easily and cheaply under a plan unveiled Tuesday by the Obama administration.
At a news conference, President Obama announced that the Federal Housing Administration will cut upfront fees for refinanced loans it already insures.
The new fees are for borrowers whose FHA loans were issued before June 1, 2009. An estimated 2 to 3 million borrowers could take advantage of the savings, which could reduce mortgage payments for the typical FHA borrower by about a thousand dollars a year, according to the administration.
“Its like another tax cut in peoples pockets,” said President Obama.
Borrowers who refinance their existing FHA loans will pay an upfront insurance premium equal to 0.1%, the lowest allowable rate, of the mortgage amount — $100 for a $100,000 loan — plus an annual fee of 0.55%.
The new refinancing fees contrast sharply with the cost of obtaining a FHA loan, according to Jaret Seiberg, an analyst with the Washington Research Group. A borrower making a 3.5% down payment on a home purchase as of April 1 will pay a 1.75% upfront fee and a 1.25% annual fee. Those purchase fees were raised barely a week ago to improve the FHAs capital reserve.
via Obama reduces refinance costs for FHA mortgages – Mar. 6, 2012.