There are many actions that you can defend by saying “oh, I was just young and foolish then,” but when talking about credit this will only get you sympathy from friends. You can pay dearly for foolish financial decisions and laziness for years after you were “young and foolish,” keeping many people from realizing their full potential financially for so long that by the normal age of retirement rolls around they are forced to work 5 or 10 years longer. The answer that smart business and lawyer types have come up with is called credit repair.
This invention of credit repair has literally been a life saving thing for thousands (maybe even millions) of folks who were bit in the butt by the false flash of credit and the increased power to buy. The redemption is well worth the time, money, and effort that it takes to get your report clean—just as if you had never had a problem with debt—and allows you to get on with your life and enjoy financial freedom that you never dreamed was possible.
The best part of this answer, and the part that makes it work so well, is that it is a good deal for everyone involved. You see credit cards and other sources of credit make money when people owe them a balance but only when the person is able to make regular minimum payments on this debt. The sad thing is that there are so many people that became over extended to the point of crippling them so that they couldn’t even make the minimum payment. The loan companies are more than happy in these situations to cut their losses and the original balance back (forgiving some of the finance charge they are owed and allowing the credit repair) because money in the bank makes more money.
So the system allows people to make the credit report look as if they were regular and on time with their payments and allows them to pay back the outstanding balance at rates that will not sink them into oblivion. Credit repair is done through the legal system with lawyers making deals on an individual basis so that both parties win and are able to walk away from the situation in better shape and with a better future. The process also requires that the debtor go through some financial training so that the situation won’t repeat itself. Sound like redemption to me, and I like that sound!