First, settle any outstanding debt. If you owe money on collection accounts, charge-offs and/or judgments, make payment arrangements and get these accounts paid promptly.
Next, begin rebuilding your credit. If you have current accounts with good payment histories, or even some previous late-payment-blemishes, make sure you continue to pay those accounts on time. If you do not have any existing credit accounts then you'll need to establish several in order to create a viable credit history.
I have found that CONSUMER ACTION is an excellent resource for objective advice on all things credit related. You'll find free and sincere advice on everything from settling collection accounts to rebuilding credit to building credit from scratch on their website. http://consumer-action.org/
Beware of anyone offering to "repair" your credit! The Federal Trade Commission issued a stern warning last year that such offers are scams. Find more from the FTC HERE. http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre13.shtm
The best way to buy a home is to have a decent credit history combined with sufficient Income and Assets for a home purchase.
The best way to have a decent credit history is to settle negative outstanding obligations and pay all your bills on time for at least two years.
Judgements or liens come in many forms: mechanic, judicial, civil, etc. They generally contain a clause stating that they can be renewed for an additional term. This is rarely done, but it does happen. Recommend settling for full relief, if several years have passed it may only take a few cents on the dollar to put it behind you. I am only an expert in residential energy efficiency and would urge you to consult an attorney in your county for specific information. Best of luck. www.NCEnergyPartners.com... more
Jonathan is correct, but honestly with a 450 score, you will find it difficult to buy either. Get with someone that knows credit and can help you correct the issues you have with your credit. Once you have figured that out, then decide if you are seeking a car or a home (as Don mentioned) then proceed.
However, if you are seeking a car right now with that type of credit, a buy-here pay-here lot would be the best option. If you are considering buying a home one day, pay this new debt by CHECK so that you can supply a track record of monthly payments. Most BHPH car lots do not report to credit.
Good luck!... more