For the OP - thanks to the way FICO scores credit if you use more than about 30% of your available credit it causes a serious cut in your score. If you will pay your cards down to under 40% at least you will see a substantial increase in your score in about 6 months.
Also you will save a lot of interest that you are throwing away. Get a side job, get the kids a side job, sell the car and buy a cheaper one, sell the flat screen TV, sell the kids. OK I'm joking on that one.
But whatever you have to do to pay the bills down. Then get more cards if you need the additional credit, but
keep your balances under 30% - and preferably keep a couple of cards with near zero balances.
For the previous poster - unfortunately credit reports are the window to whether a tenant is a good credit risk or not. Remember we are extending you credit in a round about way when you rent an apartment, and we are entrusting a very expensive piece of property to your care, or lack of.
There is no easy way to check a tenants rental history. The current LL can't be believed, they will say anything to get the tenant out. And previous landlords phone numbers are nearly always changed or bogus to start with. The "eviction lists" you may hear about are unreliable and usually out of date.