There's always hope.......
The best way to realize a financial recovery is with a plan, a vision, and a committment. The mistake too often made is when people seek instant success....
Review you budget, make a plan and focus on improving your credit. Better times are ahead of us!
ONLY BORROW WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD TO REPAY
I'm not so naive that I don't recognize there are exceptions and that sometimes (medical emergency, auto maintenance, etc) stuff just happens that forces us to spend beyond our means. But I'm also not so stupid to recognize that the VAST MAJORITY of the problem comes from easy money spent carelessly on things like "kickin car stereos" , or $200/month cell phone plans, or a cable package that includes 1000 channels and every premium movie channel known to man.
In the early days I used to keep a check book register in my wallet and record credit card purchases in the same way one would record checks. Each entry would decrease the register balance and when the balance hit zero, the card stopped getting used until the balance (monthly pay) was restored.
But if you've dug yourself into a hole, you can still dig yourself back out! Start by repairing previous failures to pay. If there are outstanding debts, pay them off or make arrangements with the creditor to pay them off over time or at a discount. Many creditors will work with you, since they stand to get far less of their money back once they refer the debt to a debt collector. And talking to your creditors definitely demonstrates that you are WILLING TO REPAY YOUR DEBT, which takes us back to what credit scores are really all about. If/when you find yourself unable to make a payment, get hold of the creditor, let them know your situation and work something out. Make sure they understand you are willing to repay, just having some difficulty actually making it happen.
And then, when those tough times come, you will have a choice...buckle down, tighten up the belt and get rid of some expensive things you don't really need, or further jeopardize your credit score by failing to pay. The choice is really our own to make, even when life deals us "surprises".
Unforturnately, most people do not think about this subject seriously until it's too late. You call the bank to get a mortgage to buy a home and "oh no, my credit is no good???". That really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. But if it does, it's never too late to fix it. Best of luck with your purchase...Jim