Is there anything you can do or say to up your chances in getting a consolidation loan?

You can try to explain either in writing or in person to the loan officer what has happened. Show a little proof of what happened and a little more proof that everything is better now. Expand alot on how your credit was before everything happened and how you don't intend to go behind again. DO NOT EVER Say " that I just didn't care or I was too young at the time"--bad-bad-bad... With the bill consolidation, show how this will put you in a much better situation--as you won't be paying as much you are paying right now. Stay positive. Good Luck!!