Editor’s note: This is a transcript of the audio file.

Want to buy a home but have bad credit, no down payment or a shaky job situation?

You’re not alone. This desire to own but the need to rent now is making rent-with-option-to-buy deals more popular. I’m Janet Stauble with your Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.

With these lease-option-to-buy arrangements, renters pay a fee for the option to buy at a specified later date. The deal can help some, but enter any contracts carefully.

If you can’t buy now, what’s really going to change to make homeownership viable down the road? You may not be able to boost your credit to qualify for a mortgage at the end of the option period. Talk to a lender first about the likelihood of qualifying for a home loan later.

These contracts don’t offer the same protections as a regular home purchase, so consulting an attorney is a must. Problem is, people in the market for the deals are already strapped for cash, so legal fees could be cost prohibitive.

Want to learn more? Log onto Bankrate.com. I’m Janet Stauble.