If your credit has taken a dive, you should take steps to improve your credit history and credit score. Often, it's best to first focus on digging yourself out of debt. (For comprehensive information on managing credit card debt, negotiating with creditors, and dealing with debt, visit our Managing Debt topic area.) But once you've gotten a handle on your finances and debt burden, emerged from bankruptcy, or finished with a foreclosure, you can start rebuilding your credit. The sooner you rebuild your credit and improve your credit score, the sooner you'll be able to get new credit at a decent interest rate.
Below we provide details on how to start rebuilding your credit. Although you've probably heard that you need new credit to start building credit -- this is not always true. Often, it's wise to start repairing your credit without getting new credit. We discuss numerous ways to do this. Then, whey you're ready, you can start getting new credit in order to further improve your credit history -- we provide idea on how to do this as well.