Bad credit can happen to anyone. All it can take to damage your credit score is a few missed bill payments, some maxed out credit cards or even life circumstances beyond your control, such as divorce or serious illness.. When you have a lower credit score, it can be much harder to get a home loan. You might also be subject to higher interest rates and fees than someone with better credit.

I need a mortgage and have bad credit and already know my credit score. Can I get a mortgage without signing up for one of those free credit scores? Find answers to this and many other questions on Trulia Voices, a community for you to find and share local information. Get answers, and share your insights and experience.

Most lenders today offer bad-credit mortgage programs, and they compete quite aggressively with one another. But if you don’t know that, you’ll take the first offer that you get. And that’s exactly what they want you to do. Lenders count on your lack of knowledge of your own options, as well as your desperation for financing because of your credit.

MORE: Student loans for bad or no credit Here’s how your credit affects how you borrow student loan money or refinance student loans. You don’t need a credit score to get a federal loan Federal direct.

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An FHA loan is a mortgage that’s insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). They are popular especially among first time home buyers because they allow down payments of 3.5% for credit scores of 580+. However, borrowers must pay mortgage insurance premiums, which protects the lender if a borrower defaults.

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You may need a larger deposit if you have bad credit – for example around 20-30%, instead of 5-10%. Low-deposit mortgages often have tighter acceptance criteria, so the more deposit you have, the better chance you have of finding a mortgage you’re eligible for.