Fixing your credit score isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon, but if you’re patient and motivated, you will soon find your credit score steadily rising.
First, if you’re in credit card debt, you must stop making purchases with your cards. Cut them up, freeze them in a block of water, or give them to someone you trust, just get them out of your wallet. You can’t climb out of a hole if you keep digging yourself deeper into it! This isn’t, however, the time to close your credit cards. Your credit score considers your total credit available against the credit you are using, so cards (that you already have!) with low or no balance on them are your friend.
While you may be tempted to pay off the collections agencies that might be harassing you, the most important step for you to take with your money right now is to pay your bills on time. Bringing your bills up to current and continuing to pay them on time is your key to fixing your credit. Any bill that has gone to collections should be paid after this is handled, because even once you settle your debt, that mark will remain on your credit reports for years. If you frequently forget to pay your bills, talk to your bank about setting up automatic, recurring payments for your monthly bills. This should also save you stamps!
If you have need to open a new credit card, like a loan or a credit card, be sure to do your shopping for these services within a set week or two and don’t drag it out over a period of time. This lets the credit bureaus know that all the inquiries that took place at this time were for the same reason, not a chronic and sustained need for new credit.
From here on out, it’s just a matter of keeping up your desire to come out ahead. It takes discipline and desire to really change your habits, but the rewards of better credit are significant for your bottom line and for your quality of life.