Often credit issues can be resolved in a minimal amount of time. It all depends on what is on the credit report and how old the items are. The best way to resolve credit problems is through a reputable lender who can assist you with exactly what needs attention and the order of attention. Often times people pay a particular debt off or down when the money could have been used more effectively in other ways like reducing several debts instead of paying on just one, etc. If you like I can refer you to a lender that would be happy to provide you guidance in this area. Please contact me through my website if you are interested. Whatever you do, don't let this continue to haunt you. The sooner you take action, the sooner you can purchase a home and move past your families credit dilemma. Best of luck and congratulations for taking action!