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-- Posted: Jan. 14, 2000

Dorothy Rosen -- The Dollar Diva Ask the Dollar Diva

I have flawed credit. Can I still buy a home?

Dear Dollar Diva,
With a flawed credit history is it still possible to purchase a home for the first time?

-- E.

Yes, it is possible to buy a house even with a flawed credit history. But it may not always be a good idea.

Don't misunderstand. Buying a house is a very worthwhile long-term goal. Depending on how bad your credit history is, you may need to work on the shorter-term goal of repairing your credit.

Only a bank or mortgage broker can tell you whether your credit is good enough to qualify. Remember that every bank has different criteria, so shop around. You're in the right place for that -- Bankrate offers comprehensive and free rate comparisons.

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Additionally, because of your shaky credit history, a bank or broker may offer you a mortgage, but at a higher rate than the going rate. Take the time to weigh the higher monthly payments you would be making vs. taking another year to repair your credit or save more of a down payment.

Here are three Whiz articles about improving your credit history:

Be aware that buying a house will, of course, mean taking on more debt. Try the calculator "How much house can you afford?".

For more information about getting a mortgage and buying a house, you might want to read these:

Someday, your family will enjoy having its own house. Even better will be living in that house without the fear or stress of money problems that could threaten the house. Best of luck!

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