Is there a way to repair my credit history?
The best way to improve your credit score is to pay off your debt. Consolidation can help, but applying for new credit and opening a new account and make things worse! Read our advice to keep your credit healthy.
Inquiries on your credit is usually interpreted by lenders as a plan to run up your consumer debt. That's not terribly fair for those that are vigilant to either stay aware of their credit rating, or for those trying to get their debt under control, but thems the breaks. Now, don't worry about getting "pre-approved" offers in the mail. That's just a marketing gimmick, and it won't affect your credit unless you actually take them up on their (usually) criminally brutal interest rates.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (www.iii.org), if you find yourself on the wrong side of your obligations to creditors, you can call them and often negotiate terms. These people want their money, and they can often be very accommodating and understanding if you hit a rough patch. It could really help you from getting bruises for "bad debt" on your credit report. You can also consult a legit, US Department of Justice approved credit counselor. Be wary of scams that seek to take advantage of the already downtrodden.
The sooner you can get right-side up on your bills and pay on time, the healthier your credit will become.