What does your current credit prfile look like? Do you have a mortgage, any CCS or student loans? If so, are they all current?
Without any active TLs that are reporting positively, you are going to have difficulty getting financing at an acceptable rate. You may want to try for a secured card to start rebuilding, but that takes time, and it sound like you want a vehicle fairly soon. Perhaps someone else can offer some alternatives for you.
Have you attempted to GW any of the late payments ? That would likely help your FICO score and should improve your odds with getting approved.