Whatever the state of your credit report, don't lose heart. Some creditors are willing to look at your more recent credit history, so as long as you keep showing improvement, a past problem might not set you back. If you're still struggling, consider using a non-profit credit counseling service to get back on track. If you go this route, ask your local consumer agency, financial institution, military base or other trusted source for a recommendation, or check out the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, www.nfcc.org, the country's largest non-profit credit counseling service, with 90 member agencies nationwide.
(Sources: Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Illinois Attorney General, Experian)