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My score is 510,behind on child support and studen loans but paying every month
I have never had good credit, I was never taught how to manage credit. I owe back child support, I pay it but owe arrears due to a job layoffs, and I have school loans in default, but I have been making monthly payments to bring them current so I can return and finish my degree. BTW I am 33-sad but true. I need to be able to provide for my family, and I would really like to know what options I have with the low score to improve it. I have been making regular paymets to my school loans and my child support. Being out of work for 2 years. Any help would be awesome. It was hard to open up and share my situaton, but I figured its better to admit the problem instead of hoping that my score will fix it self.

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No need to feel bad about sharing your situation, if someone judges you they likely have much bigger problems they need to deal with. You have to start somewhere and for you today is as good of day as any so be proud that you are taking the steps to move forward and forget about your past mistakes. First, go run all of your credit reports (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian) at That website is run by the government and gives you all three reports for free once per year. Make sure you print or save them for future reference.  You will want to review the following areas, late payments that were reported and how old they are (they fall off after 7 years), what negative accounts you have reported (such as collection agency reports), the accurate of all open lines of credit, and look at the hard inquiries on your accountand how old they are.

You really want to look at the impact your child support and student loans have on your report, child support is not normally reported to credit agencies, so unless things got pretty bad that may not be on there or hurting your score. Since you are currently paying on your student loans, albeit behind, it is likely that you are just being hit with late payments and they are not in default. The best course of action is to get those caught up immediately you need to get up to date and pay on time becuase each time your payment is over 30 days late you are being hit with a late payment on your credit report and those hurt. Once you get everything on time just don't let anything on your credit get behind again (student, vehicle, mortgage, or credit cards). You are going to have to live with the late payments for a while; however do know even though they stay on your report 7 years, the older they get the less they affect your credit. I too went through a job loss and got some late payments on my student loans that are holding back my credit, but since they are now all 4 years or older I was still able to get my score above a 750 (I just probably won't hit 800 for a while bc of them). Creditors look not only at your overall picture, but they look at your recent picture, so if you start now and have perfect credit going forward, your past may haunt you, but creditors will start taking chances on you if your recent credit usage is responsible.

Once you get your bills caught up, if you do not already have a credit card, you should look into getting a secured credit card.  Many people have shared their experience with them on here. If you use it responsibly (charge $50 to put gas in your car once a month then pay it off in full) they will eventually upgrade you to an unsecured card which will help your credit immensley as you need an open line of credit to help you build your score.

Don't worry about being 33, that is not old at all. I have family in their mid-40s who have and have had bad credit and just gave up and have continued to ignore it. They just assume since it is bad, oh well, and they do not try to start fresh and build it back up. So you are in a much superior position than they are because you are ready to get back on track. Go through they articles CK posts and go through the forums to read how other people do it. You can turn it around for sure. I worked hard and got mine to jump over 100 points in about 7-8 months. Best of luck Ryan0810, you can and will get there!

If you run your reports and have specific questions about it, just reply and I'll check back on here and see if I can help.

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