Credit ratings - even bad ones - can be fixed if you aren't afraid to take action. The first step to fixing bad credit is to understand your credit score. So pull your score and examine it. There might be uncorrected errors that are dragging you down. Around a third of all reports contain errors so make sure to dispute any inaccurate items like incorrect dates or payment amounts. The limits could be wrong or there might even be some old accounts you closed years ago that are falsely reporting late payments. Raising your credit score could be as simple as removing these errors!
If you've had a bad track record, try working with credit officers to eliminate late fees. Sometimes creditors will remove late payments if you catch it quick. By simply staying on top of things as well as negotiating and disputing past debts you can get bad credit reversed or increase your score by 50 or even 100 points!
Bottom line: Knowing you have bad credit isn't enough. Examine your credit habits. If your utilization ratio is high, work on lowering it. Work every angle or avenue you have to improve and raise your credit score. Most importantly, deal with the debt! Pay down your balances, catch up on late payments and work on re-establishing that score!