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Hello all, I've been lurking and searching to see if anyone has asked about this particular situation before and came up short. I have a vague idea of where we stand and what we should do but would like a little more specific guidance, if you guys don't mind. Here's the rundown: - My fiancé and I are getting married sometime next year (currently trying to lock down a venue & date). - We've both agreed that buying a house trumps having a fancy wedding. - We'd like to buy sooner than later. My credit Scores: EQ 660 - TU 624 - EX 612 Negative factors: EQ is reporting one collection account. TU is reporting 2 collection accounts. EX is reporting 2 accounts that had late payments (60 days or more) + 2 collection accounts. Extended Credit: I only have 2 credit cards that were opened about 6 months ago totaling $2,800 CL (I keep my util between 5-15% for both, trying to get that lower.) My credit was really, really bad about 4 years ago and I was scared to even try applying for credit cards for a while until I realized that wasn't helping my credit either. Payment history: The only payment history I have reporting from the past year or so are the 2 CCs mentioned above. All payments have been made on time. Before that I had several 60+, 90+, 120+ late payments. Income: $55,000 - I started my current job with a new company in June 2014- same position, same pay. Was with the previous company for 3.5 years. I'm possibly up for a promotion in the next 2 months with a $10k raise. 401k for Down Payment: $18,000 My fiancé's credit Scores: EQ 608 (working on having him pull the other 2 scores) Negative factors: EQ is reporting 1 30-day late payment earlier this year + 90% util across 3 credit cards + school loan charge off Extended credit: $18,000 (as mentioned above util is 90%) Payment history: Only one late payment earlier this year. Income: $42,500 - Started new job in September 2014- same position, same pay. Was with previous company over 12 years. 401k for Down Payment: $28,000 FYI, we're trying to pay down his credit cards so that it will lower his util % but we don't think we'll be able to lower it enough to make a significant difference. Would that money be better applied to our savings for a larger down payment? We're completely unsure of how to approach our homebuying experience. Our questions are: Are we completely undesirable borrowers at the moment? If not: Should we apply for a loan together (for added income + down payment)? Are either of us more attractive on our own? If so, who? If we are (undesirable): Should we apply anyway to get a more concrete look at exactly what needs fixing? Together or individually? Is there anything obvious that we should be working on in the meantime? If we purchased alone (just him or just myself) and then got married, would the other person qualify as a first-time homebuyer for our second home? We've been comfortably paying about $1900/month in rent and would ideally like to secure a loan with a monthly payment in that range. By my calculations that means we can afford a house in the $350-400k range. Depending on the rate which we expect to be higher because of our credit. Again, we might be completely off in our calculations. Thank you in advance for any guidance and please let me know if there's anything you need to know that I didn't supply before you can offer any advice. Merry Christmas, DT