I am an underwriter for mortgage company (I approve, decline, suspend, counter mortgage loans that loan officers submit to a bank for approval. Yes, I'm the "bad guy"... and sometimes the good guy when I can make an approval), and recommend that you do NOT contact LexingtonLawFirm (read the horror stories online regarding people who have wasted their money trying to get that company to "fix" their credit.) Instead, go to CreditKarma.com, which is a free site, received rave reviews by Clark Howard on his MSN Money show, and which I personally use to monitor my credit (FREE). You can view the accounts that you have on your credit report, and get a TransUnion score - not an exact score as will be reflected on the bureaus, but it will put you in a very close ballpark of what your actual score is.
With my CreditKarma account, I get regular updates anytime anything new is added to my credit. Inquiry, increased credit score, decreased credit score, new account, paid off account, and anything else that happens. It's quite nice. Plus, you can log on as much as you want, and I like to log on and hit "update score" about weekly just to see how much the scores fluctuate in the normal course of business. It does NOT add any inquiries to your report or affect your score at all. And, if a lender is out there that can offer you a better deal on an account that you have (rate, terms, etc.), you'll see those offers come through and you can accept or not. I saved 2% interest on my car loan not too long ago by accepting one of the offers.
VA has no minimum credit score. Each lender that you speak with will have their own minimums. These are called "lender overlays". For the company I work for, it's 600. We can go to 580, but there are additional overalays to a 580 score, and max financing under a 600 score (at the lender I work for) is 90%. Even with a 600 credit score, you could be denied credit, depending on how your credit has been handled. I would say that the average lender has overlays to their VA program which requires a 620 or 640 minimum.
If you create an account at CreditKarma.com, you can see for yourself what you need to work on. Or go to Annual Credit Report.com (not freecredit report.com which is a site you have to PAY to get a copy of your credit report via enrolling in their credit monitoring service). Federal Regulations allow you to get a free copy of your credit report annually.
Look over the whole thing, from each credit reporting agency. Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Equifax is easiest to work with as you can do it all online. (Ordering, the disputes, etc.) TransUnion and Experian still like the snail mail process, but it's well worth it.
Pay off anything that is in collections, pay down your credit cards to a maximum usage percentage of 20-30% or just keep a $10.00 balance on the cards / pay monthly to keep the cards active and thus boost your credit score, and make sure you and your husband each have at least three open and active trade lines that have been paid as agreed for at least 12 months. VA does not require any certain number of trade lines but you can bet if your whole bureau is derogatory in nature, you're going to have some work to do.
In short, get ready to play the credit game. Have a good balance of installment accounts (maybe one or two) and revolving accounts (one or two), and pay them on time without fail. Even if they are secured accounts that dont have a very high credit limit. Get them open, buy a tank of gas, pay it off in a couple of weeks so you dont pay interest to the creditor (keep track of billing cycles). Paying off collections can bump your score up, avoid any creditors making unnecessary credit inquiries, which your credit score will get hit for.
Dont close out any old accounts that were paid as agreed. Say you have a credit card that is not active, but is still open or a line of credit somewhere that is the same, leave it open. That gives you tenure in length of time accounts have been opened. Even closed accounts should be allowed to remain on your report if they are paid as agreed, because that gives you credit depth.
There are a lot of factors that go into a credit score and credit report, and I wish you the best of luck!