I work for a large bank and I also just bought my own house, here are a couple of options.
If you want a conventional loan you will need a credit score of 620 or better and a minimum of 10% down payment. You will also need a debt to income ratio of somewhere between 35%-40%. If you meet this criteria you can get pre-approved and shop for any home that will appraise for the asking price.
You can also try and qualify for an FHA loan, which has easier qualifying guidlines. With an FHA loan you only need 3.5% down payment and around 40% debt to income ratio. If you are a first time home buyer you can get away with up to 50% debt to income ratio. Also, your credit score can be as low as 610. There are two main setbacks with a standard FHA loan. One, the home will need to meet certain FHA living standards, which means it will be tough to buy a fixer-upper. Also, you will have extra waiting time to close because an FHA approved underwriter will have to approve the loan and they get picky some times. It's a great option if you don't have a lot of money to put down but be ready to get the paper work out.
You last option, and probably most expensive in the long run is to buy a home on contract. Basically, you will pay the seller a downpayment (average is around 10% down) and you will make payments to the seller, who essentially is financing the home for you. This arrangement is normally for a set time, somewhere between 3 and 5 years on average and after that time you will get traditional financing through the bank. What this does is give you time to improve your credit and while you are paying the seller for the first several years you are building equity in the home and lowering the amount you will have to finance through the bank. Watch for the amount the seller charges in interest though, sometimes it is really high.