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Fresh out of grad school, need to fix my poor credit, please help?
I just completed my Masters Degree in May (wahoo!), and with that, comes repayment of student loan debt, but also the debt I collected as an undergrad when I made poor choices to get credit cards and not pay my bill regularly. As a result, my credit is very poor. I would love to gain some advice on where to begin to start rebuilding my credit score. I'm not totally sure what to do or how to begin paying off these old debts on closed accounts and such. I've read that after 7 years, the negative points on the account are supposed to be removed from your report, so I'm confused on if I should pay off my old debt first, or the more recent debt.

Any help is going to be much appreciated! Help me figure out how to get back on track! I have a full-time job now, and want to start making things right.

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before you start with the negative stuff, try to get some positive accounts going. student loans will help, make sure the payments are ON TIME!! get a credit card or two, secured if you have too low of scores to get regular ones. pay them off every month and don't carry a balnace in excess of 30% of the high credit. these established accounts will help when you start to take of the negative things, you will always need positive accounts to have good credit. 

ideally, you pay off the negative accounts in negotation for what's called "pay for deletion". this means what it says, after you pay it, it's deleted from your report like it never happened. some creditors do it, some do not. for some negative accounts, after you pay them off, they will report the date of last activity and your scores will initially go down. they will eventually go back up, but be prepared for the worse case scenario in which your scores fall for paying off negative accounts. it's kind of counter intuitive, but it's the way it is. paying a negative accounts does not restart the 7 year seasoning period. don't worry about that. 

the other option is just leave them alone and let them go away after 7 years. your scores may stay higher in the short run in this situation. to answer your question regarding paying old vs new, if the old ones are near 7 years, i'd wait them out. if you have ones that are VERY recent, just pay them off. if they're right in the middle, say 4 years, then you have a decision to make. allow your scores to suffer at the expense of doing the right thing, or play the waiting game....

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