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Extremely poor credit, MUST fix it to one day buy a home. Where do I even begin??
(This is really long but please bear with me – I am beyond dumb about this kind of stuff.)

I need a starting point to fixing my financial situation and I don’t know where, what, or who to even turn to.
Do I need a lawyer, debt counselor, advice from a mortgage lender? Should I contact a company like Greenpath for debt counseling, get a hold of a lawyer, or talk to a mortgage lender because home buying is my goal?
I am literally so lost that I don’t know where to turn to for help with: 1) even understanding my mess, and 2) what to do to fix it. I need someone to review my credit reports, outstanding bills, and financial history and point me in the right direction. I don’t even know what to really expect or if my situation is even fixable. And it really doesn’t help that I don’t understand anything in terms of legal and financial dealings. (Just going through my account stuff on here.. it’s mostly Greek to me.)

My credit is completely tanked. I have $15,000 in debt on my credit reports, and probably another $6-8,000 in bills that haven't made it to collections yet. I am about 100% sure that I will need to file for bankruptcy, but as I have avoided all forms of responsibility and adulthood basically since I have become an adult... I don't know how any of this works. Credit Karma shows my credit score numbers as 525 and 532. With at least 20+ current negative items on my credit report.
Very little of my debt is credit cards. Mostly hospital and other medical bills, phone/cable/utility services that I stopped paying on until they were disconnected, etc. I also have 2 items on my reports that are probably really terrible but I’m not sure: 2 private student loans, each for like $11,000 that were charged off because I couldn’t pay them. While the debt part is gone, I am guessing these are really putting the hurt on me? There are also a bunch of items that I don’t even know what they are… meaning they are definitely something I did, I just have no clue or don’t remember what the debt is for. 13 years of not paying for a single thing that I didn’t have to actually pay for makes it all sort of blur. I really wish I was joking.

Basically I am in a hell of a mess that is entirely my own fault because I operated under the boneheaded assumption that all these things would just magically disappear one day. No one’s fault but my own. I wasted my 20s being a moron (having grown up in a household where daddy took care of everything), ignoring all forms of financial responsibility, thinking that life would just somehow “work itself out”. Basically if I racked up bills that I did not have the money to pay, I didn’t pay them. I didn’t even open mail that looked like it could be a bill. Straight in the trash.
I am now a 31 year old single mother (Michigan) with two kids (ages 8 and 10), I make $13/hr full time employed, yet can’t afford to rent a home or apartment large enough that myself, my son, and my daughter don’t have to share bedrooms. We are all currently living back at home with my parents, but I need to get on my feet because my parents shouldn’t have to deal with taking us on and are planning to retire in about a year. I have no other source of income. No savings. No child support, nothing. I have a decent skillset for work but no credentials to back it up – can’t work full time to feed the kiddos and go back to school for something that pays enough.
(Whine, whine, etc. More or less just trying to be clear to everyone that I have no idea how to be an adult, but now that life has come to suck this bad, I need to figure it out before my kids and I end up homeless. The section 8 waiting list in my county has been closed for years, and I can’t qualify for income based apartments because of my credit. Rental rates in my area are basically 2 to 3 times higher than mortgage payments for similar sized properties, but in comparison the rentals are all very poorly maintained. Obviously children are more expensive the older they get, and I can’t live paycheck to paycheck and spend the last 2 days a week what me and the kids are going to eat. Aaand I’m still aware that this is all my own fault, btw.)

Can anybody out there point me in the right direction? In “dummy terms”? Is there any bit of hope for my situation?

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By reading your post I can tell that you are not stupid as it was well written, so the place for you to start is to READ!!! If you don't understand something you read about it so you can understand it. I understand that your schedule is probably busy, working full time and raising kids, but if you can designate at least one hour per day to read everything you can about credit and your situation it would be EXTREMELY HELPFUL to you. If you are really serious about wanting to get your life on track you will take the time to educate yourself about credit even if it means an hour a day of reading for the next six months. What you learn will be valuable to you the rest of your life and you will also be able to teach your children what you know so they can avoid the mistakes that you've made.


It sounds to me that bankruptcy may be a good option for you, but you will need to consult with a bankrupcty attorney to be sure. You have more debt than you can afford to pay. I would not delay getting an appointment with a bankructy attorney for a consultation. Do some searching and you will probably find many that do free consultations. I am under the assumption that most of this debt is recent debt and that is why I advise considering bankruptcy, but if most of the debts were old and outside the "Statute of Limitations" to be sued for them and close to falling off your reports (7 year time) then I may say to wait it out.


Reading and learning is your starting point, so start there. Things will get better if you work hard and stay focused with this, it just takes time. Any questions along the way, feel free to ask. You will get to a better place with this, just be patient and work hard at it.

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