How do one get back on their feet with their credit scores taking a nose dive like the housing market.
One wonderful way to help out during these times (or any time) is to reduce your dependence on debt/credit. Get in the habit of using cash. It may seem outdated but our grandparents actually "saved up" for things. When you use cash for purchases, you pay less in the long run & you don't get caught when you can't make payments.
My wife and I paid cash for our last two cars. We no longer have any debt aside from our 1st & 2nd mortgage. We have tripled the payment on our 2nd mortgage & will have it paid off next year. There is so much more freedom when you don't have all those payments hanging over your head and knowing that you have several months of savings sitting in an account in case of an emergency.